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One Great Way To Enjoy A Box Of Cigars

Book of Cigar Bands
The row of cigars is the cover of the book on Cigar Bands, which comes in its own cigar box. The ATTENTION: in the upper left corner of the lid reads: “It has been determined that viewing cigar bands is not dangerous to your health.”

Schiffer Publishing’s recent release of the book Box of Cigar Bands is the most delightful form of book marketing I’ve seen. It’s worth buying the book just to get the box!

James C. McComb Sinclair II, after some short introductory material, has presented a collection of over 1,000 cigar bands that were assembled and pasted in a ledger book, probably between 1880 and 1910, by Hugh Augustus Wilson. Eventually, this collection was passed on to the author’s family.

Bands around cigars can be traced back at least as far as 1830, when a Dutchman named Gustave Bock put a paper band around each cigar he sold and wrote his signature on each band. This was his way of guaranteeing that he was selling genuine Cuban cigars and not trying to pass off inferior cigars as coming from Cuba.

Almost immediately, the idea of identifying cigars in this way caught on, and when the new lithography printing became available, beautiful cigar bands became a part of every branded cigar.

An example of a cigar band.  Queen Victoria would love to have had her portrait used in this way.
An example of a cigar band. Queen Victoria would love to have had her portrait used in this way.

By the early 20th century, the bands were displaying elaborate designs, often embellished with portraits of famous people, historical figures, mythological animals - whatever caught the imagination of the artist.

Whoever would have guessed that cigar bands would be such an art form!

Box of Cigar Bands, in its cigar box, is priced at $34.95. Check with your local bookseller, or order online at

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