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Posts Tagged ‘Nouveau’


Zino Davidoff was born on March 11, 1906 in Kiev, Russian Empire, present-day Ukraine. He was the eldest of four children born to tobacco merchant, Henri Davidoff. Even in his own autobiographical writings, the facts on Zino’s youth are a bit hazy, as he was quite young during this time and could only piece together some stories of his youth. His parents were either cigar merchants or cigarette manufacturers in Kiev. Fleeing the political turmoil and anti-Semitism prevalent in Russia, his parents left some of their family behind and emigrated to Geneva, Switzerland in 1911 for a better life and opened their own Tobacconist shop in 1912. Finishing school in 1924, he went to Latin America to learn about the tobacco trade, spending time in such places as Argentina, Brazil, and finally Cuba where he spent two years working on a plantation and first encountered Cuban cigars.

Returning to Switzerland around 1930, he took over his parents’ shop. What had originally been a modest tobacco shop grew into a rich business during and after WW II. Neutral Switzerland was spared much of the havoc wreaked elsewhere in Europe and became a haven for wealthy tobacco customers. Zino was particularly successful in marketing the Hoyo de Monterrey Châteaux Series of Cuban cigars created for Zurich cigar distributor A Durr Co., in the 1940s and named after great Bordeaux wines.  Around this time, Zino is also credited by many as having invented the first desktop cigar humidor, in order to preserve cigars at the same conditions of humidity and temperature under which they were rolled in Havana. Davidoff also had success writing several books on cigar smoking and Cuban cigar brands.

In 1970, Zino sold his small but highly successful tobacco shop in Geneva to the Max Oettinger Group. Zino stayed on as Davidoff’s ambassador until his death in 1994 at the age of 87. He was survived by his wife and daughter, who remained in Switzerland and by his siblings that had since moved to other parts of the world, mainly North America. Till his last moments, Zino an avid family man, sought out to find his lost family history back in the Soviet Union and then the emerging independent states of Russia and Ukraine. Unfortunately, many historical documents had been lost and so had his search. Not much information exists on their whereabouts, but through saved notes by Zino, it has been speculated that many had defected to North America in the early to mid 70’s, some under new identities and family names.

A tobacconist is an expert dealer in tobacco in various forms and the related accoutrements. Such accoutrements include pipes, lighters, matches, pipe cleaners, pipe tampers, ashtrays, humidors and more. Books and magazines, especially ones having to do with tobacco are commonly offered. Items irrelevant to tobacco such as puzzles, games, figurines, hip flasks, and candy are sometimes sold. A tobacconist shop is traditionally represented by a wooden Indian positioned nearby.

Although I am not really a tobacconist, I have collected many tobacciana collectibles that are offered for sale at my eBay store “Kelekchens”.  You won’t see a wooden Indian but here are a few vintage and antique humidors:

                        

Noritake and Nippon Porcelain Humidors ca. early 19oo’s.

   

Marzi & Remy Porcelain Humidor – Germany ca. 1940’s

    

Metal Humidors – Adam Verde and a Boston Rumidor ca. 1940’s to 1950’s

                   

Glass Humidors – Heisey glass, polychrome mesh (1920’s Art Deco), EAPG  and  Victorian Humidors.

Hand thrown, stone crock humidor with pipe rest lid.

Depression glass, Moongleam, cigarette humidor.

And my favorite:

                   

A stunning humidor with beautiful glass.  Double click on the photos to see better details.

You can see these and many more from my collection.  Place your cursor on my assistant “the Duck” and click to go to my eBay store Kelekchens. Open tobacciana and your there.

Until next time Happy Collecting and remember “the best is yet to come!”

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Noritake Lusterware


One of the most important contributions of Noritake china was the development of Lusterware.  This was a glazing technique using a bright, single color glaze (brown, blue, orange, green) covered in a thin metallic film.  The result was a polychromatic, iridescent look that grace these peices of Japanese porcelain in a bright rainbow-like sheen.  This technique became very popular with other manufacturers during the 20th century.  The major importer being the U.S.  This was a time after the depression and the beginning of the roaring 20’s and Art Nouveau was in vogue.  In fact, many of the peices of Lusterware from the Noritake family of china is very Art Nouveau. Their biggest production being small peices of giftware that was offered in many U.S. Five & Dime stores.  This is what makes it so collectible.  Although not as popular as “Nippon” and other works by Noritake, some peices of Lusterware command high prices. But there are still great bargains to be found:

    

An “Art Deco” ashtray marked “Hand Painted, TWNO, Made in Japan” ca. 1921 – 1930 (from my collection).

 

Years 1921 – 1941

In the first part of this series I discussed “Nippon” and the years 1894 – 1921 and now moving further along in the production calendar for the Noritake company I will explain why they stopped putting “Nippon” as part of their backstamp.

This period of 1921 – 1941 is clearly set apart by two major events, a change in U. S. law and the beginning of World War II in 1941. 

In 1921 American import laws changed to require the place of origin be marked on a product in English.  Since “Nippon” was more a description of an island and a native word to that island, the word “Nippon” was no longer acceptable for imports and the new law.  Backstamps after 1921 state “Japan” or “Made in Japan”.  Thus, it is easier to identify the earlier peices of china by those marked with “Nippon” and later peices by those marked with “Made in Japan”.

Here is an interest mark where the “Hand Painted Nippon” is  overstamped with “Made in Japan” ca. 1921 (from my collection)

 

   

Other Makers Marks you might see on Lusterware and a nice photo of a Lusterware cup and saucer (from my collection)

 

Collector’s can still find excellent purchases and colorful peices of lusterware and it is a wonderful subject of Japanese porcelain to collect at this time.  I believe that Lusterware will increase in value over the next few years and be hard to collect without significant money to invest.

In my next post I will discuss the war years and peices marked “Made in Occupied Japan” so until then Happy Collecting and always remember the best is yet to come.

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