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Tobacco Tin: The Apéritif
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Title: Tobacco Tin: The Apéritif
Identifier: 2006.1.74
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1940-1975
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A round gold red and black tobacco tin. The lid is gold with a red trim. The words "The Apéritif" are prominent across the front of the led. Below this brand name is an illustration of a man sitting in a large sofa chair, smoking a pipe beside a round table. In front of the man is a 'butler' holding a tray of four wine glasses. White printing on a black background on the bottom portion of the lid reads: "This medium mixture is a fitting prelude to meal-times leaving the appetite eager and the palate keen." A 'royal' crest and the words: "By appointment to Her Majesty the Queen. Suppliers of Smoker's requisites. Alfred Dunhill Ltd." appears at the top of the lid. Around the bottom and top edges are printed "Manufactured and blended in England by Alfred Dunhill" and "To open insert coin under lid and twist." Printed three times in black against a red ground around the side of the lid is "Dunhill Aperitif Tobacco". Attached to the edge of the lid is a Canada excise stamp. It folds under the edge onto the inside of the lid. The stamp is black and white, approximately 25 mm x 45 mm. Printed on the stamp are the words "Canada", "2 OZ.ON" and "Tobacco Tabac" with a maple leaf at the bottom centre. The bottom of the tin is gold and impressed with "2 OZ NET TOBACCO."

Tobacco originated in the America’s where it was smoked and chewed in a variety of ways. For several cultures it had a religious significance. Explorers and sailors introduced Europe to tobacco and by the end of the 16th century tobacco was being used across the continent. In the seventeenth century the large scale cultivation of tobacco began in the America’s. European’s controlled cultivation and tobacco became known as “country money”, a cash crop which could be used in place of actual money in the colonies. Throughout the 17th century there was conflict throughout Europe and Asia regarding the use of tobacco, which at that point is smoked in a pipe. Many nations limited tobacco for medicinal use only and/or banned smoking altogether. Part of the issue with smoking was the fire risk and many laws were enacted banning smoking in public places to avoid the risk of fire. By the beginning of the 18th century laws against smoking led to the popularity of using snuff. In the 19th century the cigar became the most popular way to smoke. In the 1850’s cigarettes start to become popular as the habit is passed from Turkish soldiers to British ones. By the late 1850’s British and American companies are producing their own cigarettes. In the 20th century the cigarette was king, though chewing tobacco was still popular especially in the southern states of the US. Various companies created name brands for their cigarettes and tobacco, many of which still exist today. Cigarettes could be purchased pre rolled or tobacco could be purchased loose and rolled by hand. Loose tobacco came in a variety of mixtures and blends which distinguished one brand from another. http://www.tobacco.org/History/Tobacco_History.html

In 1907 Alfred Dunhill opened a pipe, cigar and tobacco store in London. Dunhill was known for his pipes with their trademark white spot and his distribution of Cuban cigars. By the 1920’s Dunhill had stores in New York and Paris. Dunhill was the tobacconist of choice for King George VI and Sir Winston Churchill. In 1963 Dunhill’s started to manufacture and line of cigarettes. The coin twist tin was introduced in the 1940's and was the predominant type of tin into the 1970's.
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