A gift from a colleague
25 January 2014
The former director of Museum Flehite in the Dutch city of Amersfoort donated to the Amsterdam Pipe Museum a series of paper cigar bags which he got from his father. Special about all these paper bags is that they were all issued by the same cigar shop in The Hague in the 1910’s to 1930’s. The paper bags are printed with the name and address of the tobacconist shop on one side and with different images on the reverse, mostly a rebus.
Before World War II cigar smokers bought their cigars mostly in small numbers, just one to three at the time. The cigars were put into a simple paper bag for transport home. The printing of the bags was the advertisement for the shop. In order to prevent that the paper bag was thrown away straight away after use, the shop keepers sought for an additional print to make the bag more useful. This could be the time table of the local tram or bus, or even a rebus that kept the children busy for quite some time. In this way the name and address of the tobacconist stayed in the house for days. In this case the paper bags from The Hague survived even two generations! By searching the internet the colleague from Amersfoort found out that the Amsterdam Pipe Museum has a fine collection of these kind of paper cigar bags. This inspired him to make the donation. His well-preserved bags will stay in our collection for the next generations. Any one following his example?