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PUFFING PAPERS by Marco Sonaglia



A series of articles published in 'The Cigarette Packet'* between August 1991 and December 1992.
*(A bi-monthly magazine by and for members of The Cigarette Packet Collectors Club of Great Britain)
Text has not been changed, apert from inclusion of issue numbers in brackets after titles.
Images are not from original artwork, so quality is degraded.



Mesopotamian Papers



Since last century Italy and Austria, two of the most important productive countries of very fine papers, held a large slice of the Middle East market, thanks to the high quality of the product and   to the good commercial distribution.
Some examples of rolling papers booklets of the past intended for a Mesopotamian market are illustrated on the following pages.
They can well represent the refinement reached by the state of oriental smokers.







Competition Has No Age



In the 1890s, the competition amongst the manufacturers of cigarette papers was like a fight without question.
In that period, we were far away from the system of today's half-monopoly and the various European firms didn't hesitate to initiate nearly the entire successful booklets of others.
The three folders here illustrated are a clear example of this. They were addressed to a public more sensitive towards patriotism.
The one upright is of relevance, made by Adolphe Lacroix, relative in the 4th degree of the more famous Leonide Lacroix, innovation of the trade mark Rizla.









Leonide Lacroix began to produce cigarette papers and booklets in 1863.
Soon after he increased his production excessively, thanks to the quality of the very fine paper and the innovation in the manufacture he first introduced the hard cover, closed by a string or elastic. The success of Rizla+ papers in the world was so great and swift that soon after many imitations characterised, as the original by the prefix 'Riz' (rice) with black inscription on orange background and very often with the hard cover appeared on all world wide markets.
It is my intention to present in this article and in future articles a part of these imitations coming from all over the world, preceded by a special issue of the classic British Rizla+ folder.
I would like to thank Peter Emmens for his kind concession to publish three packets from his collection. If any other collector wants to contribute to enrich this review, please send the photocopies directly to Marco Sonagila, P 0 Box SV-Ferrovia, 17100 Savona, Italy.
I thank you in advance for your kind help.









RIZLA+          IMITATIONS   (2)



Unfortunately, some of those shown in the October issue were orange in colour and this made it very difficult for me to photocopy. I am trying to improve on these, so as my article on Rizla Imitations will be complete.







RIZLA+          IMITATIONS   (3)



The short review of the imitations of the most famous trade mark of cigarette papers ends with this third part.
I'd like to reproduce some booklets already published in a more legible graphic format, so that you can appreciate them better.
Besides I add a curious item of the last decades ASIA+, coming from the South-Asiatic, that links some distinctive features both of Rizla trade mark (the cross latched onto the name) and of JOB trade mark (the typical triangle-frame, in which the four-leaved clovers in the angles are substituted with the same number of evocative crosses).










Already in the XIX century cigarette papers booklets were used in order to advertise other products. For this reason thin booklets, praising the good quality of their products, were offered to the customers, as complimentaries by their firms.
Beside the more famous booklets, advertising tobaccos and drinks, it is interesting to note that in France also agricultural products with  curious graphic solutions, circulated until the 1930s. This is due to the fact that, while in towns the transition from roll-your-own cigarettes to machine-made ones had largely already happened, in the country this custom was still so deeply rooted to justify the use of this way of advertising.









The cigarette rolling papers makers had been producing for a long time a curious type of brown paper, used to repair broken cigars. These illustrations coming from Spain, England and Italy show that this production was widely spread with an occasional impact on the market.










Many centuries ago, when the trade marks had to be still invented, the paper was marked by the process with watermarks, exclusive logo of recognition of each producer.
Rolling papers also at the beginning of their use, distinguished themselves for these drawings in transparence. They were not sold in any suitable container yet, but distributed in sheets that everyone could cut as he liked.
With the introduction of the packet/booklet and respective printed trade mark, we had a long intermediate period of co-existence between watermarks and trade marks, until the gradual and progressive disuse of the former.









With the discovery of America many unknown plants arrived in the 'Old World'. Among them the tobacco, which had so great an influence on social habits in the course of the years.
This fact was celebrated also on rolling papers booklets, of which I am showing a selection. To be noted among them, two booklets printed recently by a private person in a very restricted number to celebrate the five hundred years of the discovery.










From the beginning, rolling paper manufacturers produced tubes too, this should help those people who, for negligence or just through lack of skill did not roll their own cigarettes.
This created two new chorographical categories and as a consequence, became collectable items.
1) Tube packs
2) The tubes themselves, very often overprinted and personalised.






Information by Marco Sonagila for a English Newspaper in 1990.



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