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June 12, 2014

Discovering new types of collectibles, antiques, and memorabilia is so much fun.
The cigarette silk I purchased for $1.50.
While in Washington, DC,  this past weekend Mother and I attended the 30th Annual Strawberry Festival on the grounds of the Sandy Springs Museum.  The museum sponsored a yard sale (for which I made a bee line) where I found cigarette silks for sale.
According to Kovel's, cigarette silks (also called tobacco silks) were clever marketing items placed inside packages of cigarettes between 1910 and 1915. 
 Not to be confused with cigarette cards, the "silks" were actually
satin fabric 2"x3" rectangles depicting flowers, animals, state flags,
athletes, college mascots, royalty, American Indians, foreign
countries and many other subjects.
This collection contains silks of American stage actresses
who were popular at the turn of the 20th century:
Small fabric silks were often used to make mini-quilts:
  Animal silks were assembled to make a small comforter:
  Nebo cigarettes were originally manufactured in New York City
but the company sold to the P. Lorillard Company in 1911, which
means that these silks are at least 100 years old:
  While not especially politically correct, tobacco-related memorabilia,
ephemera, and paraphernalia have been popular collectibles for many
years.  If you know a young person who is interested in starting an
unusual collection tell them about cigarette silks.  They're still very
affordable (most under $5) and quite unique.

In addition to the cigarette silk I also bought a vintage King Syrup
pail for $2 and a small pair of old Amish dolls for $3.  Great finds!
 It's been my experience that sales conducted by charity organizations
and non-profit groups are often where you find the best bargains.


  1. OMGosh I really like the old cigarette silks and haven't seen any for years and years.
    When I lived in Kentucky they were like little pieces of gold, women really collected them for sewing projects.1970's
    I would love to attend a sale like you went to and see real antique old items

    1. It was so much fun! I had never heard of cigarette silks and was so happy to stumble across them. There was also a box of old maps priced at $1 each but I just didn't have a use for them. They were all from the 1950s and the Potomac River area. In hind sight, wish I had picked up a few of them, too.

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