A peculiar and previously unstudied area of whistle collecting is tobacco related whistles. From pipe tampers to cigar nippers ( or cutters ), prickers, lighters and vestas we see some remarkable variety.
We had wanted to show lighters and more cutters, but unable to purchase them due to prices, competition and such we decided to post what we could get and describe what we couldn’t obtain. The point is to bring to attention an engaging field of whistles.
Vestas of course are well known and have a vast following. Vesta whistles are in that crowd of long time collectors. Used for storing matches, they could store other things of course. We have seen lighter/ whistle combinations that are bulky or cheaply made. Few really lean to being mostly whistle, but mostly lighters. However a couple of fine examples are on page 30 of Whistles (2000, Gilchrist ) along with a couple prickers, the one is actually pictured here better below. We also have a record of a fine cigar holder whistle
Tampers are subjective in that a whistle could have a blunt end and not be a tamper. However some seem to be very flat and just right for the purpose. Perhaps in the vicinity of cutters and nippers are seen the most creative side of whistle designs.
We hope to set up this SPOTLIGHT so as to add on the end, as more related whistles are found and can be posted in sequence. We have many more pictures from the internet in our personal records, but will hold to our policy to post only our pictures we have taken of our own photography and nothing taken without permission from on-line auctions or postings which is a gross violation of all copyrights. All pictures are of whistles in the reference collection and can be recognized by our signature blue background or they are by special permission ( with credit given below the pictures ).
You will note that at the end of this article it stops rather abruptly. We will be trying this new format out now. The reason is that it makes it much easier for us to add to the end of an article when we find additional information. Of course if something shows up that would have been better posted earlier in the article that may look out of sequence — it may need to be addressed. Hopefully it will simplify things a bit for us all. So we will say here, we hope that you enjoy this SPOTLIGHT edition from TWG.
First up let’s discuss cigar prickers and cutters ( or nippers ).
A fine combination of ivory and silver is this French pricker. Rarely does one see combinations of this spring loaded design for puncturing a hole in the cigar end. This one is manufactured by H.C. Butcher patent 1166/1866 in France, marked brevete. Note the tamper on the bottom. It is diminutive at just 7CM when extended and 6CM when closed up.
Here you can see a close up of the spring mechanism needed to be able to work the plunging needle into the cigar end.
And then the ivory whistle end.
Whistles has a Hudson pricker that is bulkier and not as smooth, all plated brass.
A few pipe tampers are now pictured. First up is all brass purchased from the Kipping collection in the UK. Interesting stop hole included too. Very heavy and blunt and would seem to be able to work well.
The tamper is made of iron and inset, as also the fipple.
Next is a slim silver tamper purchased from the Guttridge collection from the USA.
It is very slim and 9CM long
France delivers a small whistle on chain.
Lastly is an all lead tamper whistle picked up in the USA.
Our personal favorites are the ingenious designs around cigar cutters ( or nippers ). We have seen brass slippers with a cutter in the heel, a steel round whistle with the cutter extended on the top where the ring would normally be, or better yet a steel round with the cutter attached to the top cap and then slid into the top of the round and seated so as to not see the cutter.
Here is our favorite and we were able to obtain it for all to see…
Vesta collectors would beg to differ about which is best, but here are several to compare to. Maybe they have a valid argument, this one from France.
Here is one from the USA, we have seen several of these, usually cracked due to the thin metal used.
Vestas can be very ornate or very plain and functional or very dramatic ( like the 4 inch horse head vesta that sold on auction for 1000 dollars USD a few years ago ) as the following shows.
This one from France is 9CM long.
Posted May 16, 2016