Knight Helmet Humidor
Bohemia, c. 1880s
Knight Helmet Humidor Knight Helmet Humidor
Knight Helmet Humidor Knight Helmet Humidor Knight Helmet Humidor Knight Helmet Humidor
Knight Helmet Humidor
Johann Maresch, Aussig, Bohemia: c. 1880s
Ebonized ceramic with bronze-tone highlights
Impressed mark on underside: "JM" and "88"
Paper seller's label: Galanteriewaarenhaus Zur Stadt Paris, Prag, Zeltnergasse Nr. 15
9.25 inches high
Provenance: An Austrian tobacco museum
$750

Tobacco jar sculpted in the form of a knight's helmet. The upper half is the lid. The label is from the store that originally sold it: City of Paris Department Store, Prague.

In the Victorian era, pipe smokers kept their tobacco in a decorative tobacco jar or humidor. Figural tobacco jars were produced mainly in ceramic, typically heads or full figures of people and animals, generally 12 inches or less in height. Most such jars were produced in Bohemia and Germany in the middle to late Victorian era, when pipe smoking replaced snuff as the preferred means of using tobacco.

Johann Maresch of Aussig, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic), was one of the top producers of figural tobacco jars. They are still known for having made some of the finest, and hence most collectible, humidors.

Condition: Very good original condition with the usual light wear and abrasions. Few small chips on lower rim.

Reference:

Horowitz, Joseph L. "What Are Figural Tobacco Jars?" The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles. September 2000. http://www.journalofantiques.com/featursept.htm (3 September 2002).