Cigars and cigarettes need to be kept in stable conditions, free from damp and out of strong sunlight to prevent the tobacco from degrading too quickly as well as from being crushed. When smoking was popular cigar and cigarette boxes were popular accessories in many homes, sitting on a sideboard ready to be offered round to guests and family members for a smoke together. These boxes tended to be made of wood which helped keep the internal conditions stable and the boxes were often decorated in the latest style. Military themes for cigar boxes were also popular and today we have an example of a box that combines a 1930s and 40s design aesthetic with the badge of the Royal Army Service Corps:
The box has a bold geometric design in various shades of varnish and the design descends from the top down each side:
The badge of the regiment is applied using a waterslide transfer to the top of the box, this transfer having become slightly damaged over the years:
The interior of the box is lined with white paper to help protect the contents, the box being hinged along the long side at the rear:
These boxes were produced as souvenirs and gifts and by using a waterslide transfer the basic box could be easily customised for any regiment a customer might prefer, it being the work of a few minutes to apply the badge. Clearly the transfers were not varnished after being applied, hence the damage to this one, but it did make for a rapid production method. There are no markings on the box to indicate where it was made. It was clearly inexpensive but whether it was produced in the UK or overseas is unclear. Either way the bold geometric shapes make for an attractive little box and although few today smoke, the box itself remains a useful and displayable piece.