Oakwood Counter top Cigar store Indian statue


  • £4,733
  • €5,594 Euro
  • $5,774 US Dollar


DC Member since 2020
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Oakwood Counter top Cigar store Indian statue

The cigar store Indian originated as a tradition, not in the United States but in Europe, where carved “Virginie men,” as Europeans called native Americans, were used for advertising the sale of tobacco, an American crop.

Tobacconists in America picked up the trend to advertise and make their stores distinctive. The folklore about Cigar Store Indians in the late 18th C suggests that they provided a visual marker, much like a barber’s striped pole, for illiterate customers or, in the following century, for the swelling population of immigrants that spoke different languages.

Though these hand-carved statues were once frequent in 19th C cigar stores, original examples are now extremely rare and highly collectable due to the resurgent popularity of cigars and related memorabilia. The wooden Indian was the accepted sign for a tobacco shop by the 1840s, but it was almost gone by 1900, replaced by flat signs with store names. The statue remains in remarkably good condition for its age, with minimal abrasions and wear.


  • H: 53cm (20.87in)


19th Century

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For COLLECTIT! by SPECTANDUM owner Guy Kuypers, the history of his collecting began at the Porte de Clignancourt in Paris with a Napoleon III case filled with Exotic Birds. The colorful birds piqued my imagination and became the beginning of a passion for Natural History, Ethnography, European Works of Art, Antiquities and Curiosities that drive me on all continents, looking for fascinating and rare objects. Whether they are natural or man-made, all have an interesting story to tell.

So, it is finally in this spirit that the collection, which encompasses Natural History, Tribal Art, Paintings, Sculptures and Curiosities from many cultures and periods in history finds its rationale and its roots.

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