Lovely very detailed and vivid turn of the century cigar nail tag. These would have been used on the outside of cigar boxes across the front of the box sealing the box lid. The multitude of colors, in addition to the heavy embossing and guiding on this label date it between the 1890's and 1920s. I believe this might be an Egyptian Revival cigar label. King Tut's tomb was discovered in 1922 quickly becoming an international sensation after which Egyptian art saw a revival from jewelry to adorning every day items. Lithograph printing faded out of use during the 1920s. Incredible label measures just shy of 3 x 2.25 inches.
As always Victorian lithographs please with their vivid colors and fine prints and this one is no exception. Each color marks a distinct printing using a German slab of limestone and this one has many making it a more costly print for the period. Gilding and embossing mark the excellence of the print and date this to 1890s to the early 1900s. This one is an incredibly fine example of a stone crayon lithograph. Lithograph printings were the common form of printing during the Victorian period into the 1920s. The technology was developed by a gentleman interested in producing cheapand easy color prints for theater posters. After it's development, the tobacco industry found a new means to package their cigars. They industrialized the art developing massive lithograph presses which later allowed embossing and real gold gilding. Around the 1920s lithograph printing fell out of popularity as new types of cheaper printing came into use. However, no other form of modern printing can reproduce or compare to the fine and vivid prints of those turn of the century lithographs. A few of these fine prints remain because the technology required fine acid free long fiber paper to hold up to the stone presses inevitably allowing the prints not prone to fading, yellowing or decomposing. They remain fresh and crisp from the day they were printed. As such, no photograph can capture the beauty of these prints, my listing pictures are dull compared to the actual print itself.
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