Tobacciana: 40 Cigarette Silks
Silks. New York: [American Tobacco Company et al.], [ca. 1910–15]. (7.5 cm to 12.7 cm). 40 items.
[SOLD] - but SO pretty that we're leaving them “up” for a while!
Click the images for enlargements.
Promotional “cigarette silks” (small decorative pieces technically printed on satin but invariably referred to as silks) were giveaway inserts included in cigarette packages or premiums offered as rewards for mailing in coupons. Designed to be desirable collectables, particularly for women, the swatches were sometimes sewn into quilts, pillow tops, or table covers — on occasion, even clothing. This gathering of 40 examples includesflower, fruit, moth, and bird designs; an array ofnational flags (some accompanied by patriotic music); one portrait of an imaginary pretty ladiy representing France and a “real”portrait of vaudeville dancer and actress Nellie McCoy. The cigarette brands advertised are Chesterfield, Egyptienne Straights, Nebo, Sovereign, Tokio, and Zira; three designs are duplicated.
Organized in clear pocket leaves in looseleaf binder with inserted title-page reading simply “Silks”; binder with smudges, silks slightly age-toned with varying degrees of edge fraying, overall in very good condition. A nice collection of attractive and evocative ephemera. (36016)
AMERICAN SERICULTURE a Possible Source ofRevenue?
Pullein, Samuel. The culture of silk: or, an essay on its rational practice and improvement. In four parts... For the use of the American colonies. London: Pr. for A. Millar, 1758. 8vo. Frontis., xv, [1 (blank)], 299,  pp., plt.
Interest in the production of silk in the New World began with the Spaniards in the 16th century, though despite the best efforts of many in Mexico, the enterprise came to naught. Either undaunted by or unaware of the failure of these earlier efforts, the English in the 18th century attempted the introduction of sericulture into their regions of North America. This early English treatise on the possibilities of silk culture in British North America was aimed at planters and owners of land on which the essential mulberry trees could be planted, and entrepeneurs looking to enter a new business at ground level.
In the period 1750 through 1820 there was considerable interest in the development of this potentially lucrative enterprise. The work in hand is divided into four parts: "I. On the raising and planting of mulberry trees. II. On hatching and rearing the silkworms. III. On obtaining their silk, and breed. IV. On reeling their silk-pods."
The two plates (one being the frontispiece) show various machinery and tools for, and stages of, the production of silk. The author, a "reverend," flourished 1734–60.
Sabin 66625. Recent quarter calf, antique style. Round spine with raised bands accented with gilt ruling. Gilt center devices in spine compartments. Green morocco title-label. Marbled paper sides. Light foxing. A very good copy. (2699)
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