Tobacco jars

The tobacco jar is an accessory that emerges in the eighteenth century, when smokers consume larger quantities of tobacco. According to the status of the owner, the jar can be very simple to extremely luxurious. The upper class used silver tobacco jars, shaped and decorated in the latest fashion: starting with the Louis-XIV, -XV and –XVI style, the Empire, Biedermeier, Victorian style and so forth up to some rare post-modern jars from the 20th century.

The silver jars were copied in pewter, the silver of the poor, as it was called. Typical English are the tobacco jars in lead, following the same decorations of the more expensive examples. They all have in common the inner lid that keeps the tobacco in right moist.

During the 19th century the tobacco jar became more common in all social circles, with a growing variety in shapes and materials. Mercury glass replaced the heavy lead pots, a myriad of ceramic pots and jars were invented, many shaped in animals and persons. Nowadays these jars are highly collectible, but even at the time they were extremely popular and were certainly conversation pieces when put on table.

After 1900 there was clearly less interest in the tobacco jar; cigars and cigarettes were taking over the common use of pipes. New tobacco jars tend to be moderate in size and produced industrially. Nevertheless, the current fashion was always reflected, from art-deco to streamline and Modern Movement; for the old fashioned smoker a choice of waggish designs is always available.

Majestic silver tobacco jar in Louis XVI-style with portrait medaillons. The Netherlands, 1775-1785. A silver tobacco jar between Louis XV and Louis XVI style, the handle on the lid is dominating the design. The Netherlands, 1760-1780.
Tobacco jar in a late empire style with an oval shape standing on a blackened wooden tray with four ivory feet. The Netherlands, 1815-1830. Tobacco jar in silver in Biedermeier style with an overall decoration, the base imitated from a wooden example. The Netherlands, 1830-1850.
A tobacco jar in pewter following the Louis XVI-style with medallions of the Roman emperors and garlands. The Netherlands, 1780-1820.
Tobacco jar in pewter with a cylindrical shape and high lid, the inside a lead second lid to preserve the tobacco. Amsterdam, 1760-1780.
The tobacco jar in pewter with its circular shape and high lid in closed position, Amsterdam, 1760-1780.
Tobacco jar made of lead with a rectangular shape, on the lid the handle shaped as the head of a blackamor. England, 1770-1800. Tobacco jar in lead still showing the original coloring in red and yellos, on tha largest panel two crossed claypipes with curved stems. England, 1770-1800.
Tobacco jar made in wood and painted in various colors, the handle on the lid shaped like a vase. The Netherlands, 1800-1830.
Tobacco jar in lead with interesting shape, the handle on the lid again showing a blackamor. England, 1780-1800.
A simple cilindrical tobacco jar in lead including its lead interior lid to keep the tobacco fresh. England, 1780-1800.
Tobacco jar in lead shaped like a sarcophagus, the small handle on the lid in brass, England, 1820-1850.
Simple tobacco jar in box shape in cast iron, the lid with a brass handle. England, 1800-1830. A tobacco jar on foot in mercury glass and painted with simple leaves and flowers in elementary colours. France, 1880-1900.
Original tobacco jar in cast iron so called fer de Berlin, shaped like a quantity of packed tobacco, an anchor is the handle of the lid. Berlin, 1830-1850.
A tobacco jar in mercury glass with a cilindrical jar on foot, the lid with a large handle.France, 1870-1900.
A tobacco box in cast iron painted in fashionable green, the inside a lead inner box to keep the aroma in perfect condition. England, 1800-1840.
A luxourius tobacco jar in mercury glass decorated with red gold lines and leaves. France, 1880-1900.
Tobacco jar in painted tin on a dish, decoration in gilt leaves and other ornaments, a brass handle on the lid. The Netherlands, 1830-1850.
Figural tobacco jar in ceramic shaped like a Tyrolean boy with hat, painted in natural colors. Austria?, 1880-1900.
Tobacco jar in cast iron shaped like a caricature head of a man in small hat, the latter serving as lid. England, 1780-1820.
Tobacco jar in ceramic of a sailor type, his cap is the lid, the surface in bronze paint. France, 1880-1900.
Tobacco jar in porcelain shaped like the head of an Arab in a turban. Germany, 1900-1920.
Figural toabcco jar in porcelain shaped like a sitting lady drinking tea, a small table next to her. Germany, Bohemia, 1850-1880.
A figural tobacco jar in ceramic, a man rising from a bag, on the label written good luck. Austria, 1880-1900.
A pair of tobacco jars in stone ware shaped like a standing and a sitting person. Belgium, 1880-1900. A pair of tobacco jars in stone ware shaped like a standing and a sitting person. Belgium, 1880-1900.
Tobacco jar in stone ware shaped like a tropical tree trunk, the holder on the side is meant for matches, the lid in pewter. France, 1890-1920.
Barrel shaped tobacco jar in creamware in a soft yellow color, silvered with rings over the body and on the lid on the handle. England, 1880-1910. Rustic tobacco jar in orange ceramic, the jar the shape of a tree trunk, a branch of leaves runs over it, the details covered with silver. France?, 1890-1910. Tobacco jar in porcelain shaped like a bunch of cigars wrapped in two ribbons. France?, 1880-1900.
Brass tobacco jar in art deco style with simple decorations and inscription 'Tabak'. The Netherlands, 1930-1940.
Tobacco jar in the style of the Gouda pottery but of origin not Dutch. Mons, Belgium, 1920-1940.
Tobacco jar in art deco style in pressed metal covered with a brass finish and dark patina. The Netherlands, 1920-1940.
A jar for storing cigars in oak wood shaped like a barrel, the lid contains a humidor to keep the contents in the right moist. The Netherlands, 1955-1965.
Tobacco jar in ceramic including a pipe holder, the black glaze changed with cloth with a tiger print. France, 1940-1960. A beautiful tobacco jar in lustre glaze, around the jar three pipe holders. France, 1940-1960.

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