During a trip to northern Europe a few years ago, I was privileged to visit the wonderful city of Amsterdam, once the world center of the tobacco trade. There I met with Pete Lingg and his friend Bob Hommes, both serious collectors of Dutch cigar tins, who graciously allowed me to photograph their collections so I could share them with others.

        I was shooting a Nikon Coolpix 4500 in daylight open shade, with Marilee and Pete, later Bob, bringing rare objects quickly and carefully from their various shelves and cupboards to where I was set up. Obviously in a few hours in each home, I was able to shoot only a small portion of their beautiful collections. I’m posting all the pictures.

        Eventually, I hope to prevail upon Pete to write a history of tin in The Netherlands.  In very brief, the Dutch relationship with tobacco is a long one. The Netherlands (Holland) was a center of the international leaf trade and the European cigar center. Not surprisingly, the history of tin in that area of the world is divided sharply between before and after World War One which (for the history class disadvantaged) made a mess of that part of the world rather seriously between 1915 and 1918. I’ve therefore separated the Museum Exhibits accordingly.

        Pre WWI tins tended to hold 100 cigars, giving plenty of surface for package designers to be highly ornate, artistically detailed. Tins often told stories, top and side panels becoming a five part tale. Others provided four different view of a place or event. Makers and users were exploring the limits of the printer's art at a time when the box itself was enough of a useful and attractive novelty that smokers’ wives and kids wanted them once emptied. This exhibit is intended to be a representative sample of Dutch tin cigar box styles from about 1880 to 1915.

        When shooting pix under pressure of time, light and memory constraints, I frequently either accidentally or deliberately did not shoot all sides of a box.  Some boxes are represented with one picture, others with 2, 3, 4, and in two cases 5. I have arranged some side by side, others stacked. I have no doubt you’ll be clever enuff to figure out what goes with what.

Dutch Tin before WWI

A National Cigar History Museum Exhibit 

© 2013  Tony Hyman, all rights reserved

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Pete Lingg now offers a wide variety of European and Mid Eastern tins on eBay.

You can reach Pete at <turmac4me@hotmail.com>.