Vintage Cigar Posters – Collector Tips


One of the leading industries to explode on to the nineteenth century advertising world was the cigar industry and they did it with big, bold colorful posters. With further advancements in lithography cigar makers sold their cigar posters with images of moneyed swells, sexy girls, vintage soldiers and more unique concepts. Now you can add one of these vintage cigar posters to your man cave and showcase your status as a true cigar aficionado. These rare posters go for hundreds of dollars today at auction.

Since cigar posters are more rare than liquor or Champagne posters this has made finding good examples more difficult. Cigarette posters dominated the scene back in the day and because of this cigar posters were snapped up in large numbers. Recently though the cigar poster market has opened up and

For collectors, good examples are to be had, but expect the supply to be limited compared with posters touting such items as liquor or Champagne. Cigar posters were rarer to begin with—far more posters were created for cigarettes than for cigars­—and collectors snapped up most during the cigar boom. However, the market has opened of late.

Cigar poster dealer and expert Gail Chisholm says that back in the early 1990’s she “couldn’t find cigar posters.” Today, Manhattan’s Chisholm Gallery, which she’s owned for more than 25 years, has a handful to choose from. Chisholm sees a double dynamic at work. The campaign against tobacco has dampened the market, yet for certain buyers the anti-tobacco crusade actually adds to these posters’ charms. Says Chisholm, “I think there’s going to be a great interest in collecting taboo subjects.”

If you’re a collector or thinking about becoming one there are 2 main factors that determine value:

  • 1.Name of the artist who created it
  • 2.Design and execution of the image itself

Some of the superstars of the poster world then were Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and A.M. Cassandre whose posters trade in the tens of thousands.

Sought after posters are those where the image itself is unique and excellent and the artist is lesser known. The actual condition of the poster is important, but not to where minor imperfections will hurt value. These posters were created on low quality paper and were handled poorly by most thus the longevity of these posters was short lived.

Supply and Demand also plays a big role in the value of these vintage cigar posters. Some fetch more $$ than others simply because very few survived to the present. As for demand cigar posters with upbeat, quirky subject matter like travel and lifestyle topics typically sell for higher prices than their counterparts.

Tips for cigar poster colletors:

  • 1.Buy from reputable sources
  • 2.Use established brick and mortar galleries
  • 3.If you buy online get a return clause for purchases
  • 4.Poster values go up and down so buy because you love it
  • 5.Relax and enjoy the process

Greg Elam –

Content Writer – Windy City Cigars

Windy City Cigars