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I think one of the great things about cigars in general is cigar box and band art work. Historically, cigar art was an acknowledged and respected art form, and actually was the pre-cursor of modern advertising. For more about the history and breadth of cigar art, go to the Cigar 101 page and click the link to Cigar art. There are web sites noted that cover the subject in detail.
And, I have been very pleased with the resurgence of cigar art of today. Makers like the Garcia’s with My Father, A.J. Fernandes with Ave Maria and others, Black Label Cigars, SOA, the list goes on and on. Fantastic band art, and a pleasure to study while enjoying the cigars.
But… Really… Enough is quite enough. In, I assume, an effort to garner market share, or just maybe to be at the edge of the envelope, some makers have taken cigar banding to a whole ’nother level. And, in my opinion, sometimes it’s to the detriment of the enjoyment of the cigar. I don’t want to point out any particulars, but hey, Latitude Zero and OSOK and others, if I have to tear up the wrapper of the cigar just so I can get it in my mouth and fired up, then the “art” becomes a problem, not an asset.
What to do with all those bands that come off of cigars that you've just smoked?
A lot of cigar smokers, especially those new to the world, will use cigar bands as decorative items. This is a great idea, gives outlet to artistic talent, and frequently results in beautiful objects d'art.
It is my opinion, however, that the use of cigar bands for later decorative art projects should only include bands from cigars that the artist has smoked himself. Soliciting for bands from cigars others have smoked is just bad taste, and cheapens the effort.
Just my opinion...
The story of cigar art, for boxes first then bands, is long and glorious. In the days before cigarette smoking became popular, the cigar market was in its heyday of manufacture and marketing, and the artwork attached to cigar boxes and bands was at its peak. It would be fruitless to attempt to describe or write about the world of cigar art, much less present even a tiny amount of it on this page. That description and presentation is very nicely captured and available on the web sites presented below. I encourage you to peruse the sites and experience the wonder of design and color, and the techniques of produtions, of "old world cigars".
Bands, Boxes, and Artwork