Unopened for centuries
The term letter-tobacco refers to a specific package that has the form of a closed envelope. The type of tobacco was probably introduced as early as the seventeenth century and remained in circulation until the nineteenth century. Such a sealed envelope contained a small amount of tobacco for only a single tobacco pipe. It is clear that this is a fine and exclusive tobacco, if only in view of the large piece of paper compared to the small content. The luxury is also underlined by the attractively designed vignette printed on the front. At the center we see as a brand the mirror monogram of the supplier with an ingenious calligraphy of almost royal order. The number 10 refers to the highest quality. The German origin is evident from the inscription that says that this quality has been tested and appreciated in town and country, even overseas. The frame that surrounds the inscription fits tightly on the paper in its powerful design. Most appropriate as past of the decoration ar the tow pipe smokers in the lower corners, supported bya beautifully detailed acanthus along the bottom. The motifs on the upper half are less expressive. The clear rococo ornamentation indicates a date around 1750. At the rear, this package is closed with a drop of sealing wax on which the manufacturer stamped with his seal, again with a mirror monogram. There is no better proof of authenticity. That an object like this survived unopened for centuries can be called a miracle.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 25.402Permalink