The cigar labels showing images of the old structures that were built to serve the purposes of the cigar industry constitute one of the most interesting themes for collectors and scholars of the Havana cigars’ evasive history. They not only delight us with images of high documentary value depicting buildings many of which no longer exist. In addition, these structures are represented in a unique manner, sometimes idealized, lit by unrivalled colours, surrounded by medals and various allegorical motifs, and generally set amid everyday life scenes of a past time.
This page will include all pieces the central motif of which is one of the old structures built with the purpose of housing the different areas of production of Havana cigars.
This kind of pieces was generally used to illustrate the “vistas interiores” or “bofetones”. The idea was to show in the first place, when opening the case, the attractive image of the factory where the unrivalled cigars it contained had been produced; thus conveying the magnificence of the brand in question.
It is safe to say that Havana’s looks had a lot to thank to the beautiful buildings that rose all over the city in order to house these prosperous cigar factories, being this industry one of the main pillars of the Cuban economy in the 19th Century. Unfortunately, many of these architectural jewels haven’t survived to the present day, or are currently in very bad shape, or have been totally altered. That’s why these pieces are so interesting. They show us details hard to find even in contemporary publications.
Many of the Cuban biggest manufacturers who had the fortunate idea of using their factory’s image to display their development and opulence will be represented in the gallery we submit to your consideration, showing on this occasion several of the most important Cuban factories, such as Partagas, Calixto López, Gener, etc. just as they were originally. Notice that in the cases of some that still exist (like Partagas, Romeo y Julieta, La Corona, etc.) it’s very interesting to compare the image we offer of the building in its beginnings with that of present day.
Following the sample, and because these early Cuban factories are such an interesting subject for collectors and historians specialized in this matter, we will include other printings that aren’t cigar labels taken from contemporary publications such as the “Nomenclator” of 1883.
List of images that make up this page’s gallery:
No. – Description -- Type