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Tobacco Silks


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"The Feminine Smoker" set of 45 tobacco silks with American Indian Chiefs. The silks followed the card issues in 1912. Color reproductions printed on silk, made as decoration to appeal to the feminine smoker. Only in print for a short time. These were sewn into a pillow cover we took apart and framed. During the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries, tradesmen often produced cards to advertise their wares. With the advent of wrapping machines in the Nineteenth century, pieces of plain card were used as protective stiffeners for the contents of paper packages such as cigarette packets. By the late 1870's in the USA, these inserts were being embellished with advertisements and pictures. Smokers began to collect the cards to obtain the full series and the hobby of "Cartophily" (card collecting) was born. It was a very effective method of encouraging brand loyalty and many manufacturers adopted the practice. It was an American tobacco company, Allen & Ginter, who were responsible for introducing the first cigarette cards in Britain in 1884. in the Thirties, the bigger tobacco companies had created special departments employing artists, researchers, and photographers for the sole purpose of preparing card issues on a regular basis. However, with the outbreak of the second world war and the ensuing paper shortage, tobacco companies ceased producing cards.

PERIOD: Early 20th Century

ORIGIN: Unknown, United States

SIZE: 2 3/4" x 1 7/8" Each; Frame 28" x 29"

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