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The Art of Cigar Bands

After sipping hot coffee and puffing on a mild corona, you replace the cup on its saucer and the cigar on the lip of an ashtray. A large, hardcover copy of The Art of Cigar Bands -- a new release from Parkstone Press -- catches your eye, inviting you to peruse through its aged cigar band reproductions. More than 1,800 bands are colorfully captured on 223 pages, so you begin to skim.

Page 143 -- Napoleon Bonaparte's stoic mug adorns the centerpiece of six intricate bands. Flip forward to page 190 -- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's name and portrait decorates the reproduced bands on the top half of the page while Johann Sebastian Bach and his peruke wig are exhibited on the bands at the bottom of the page. Leaf back to page 49 -- a variety of elephant illustrations adorns more than a dozen bands.

You're captivated by the history of these bands, some of which date back 150 years. Authors Roger van Reeth, a cigar band collector for more than 28 years, and Philippe Mesmer, a writer and cigar buff, have compiled only a fraction of the cigar world's resplendent bands (van Reeth owns upwards of 40,000 bands), yet The Art of Cigar Bands succeeds in providing intriguing information alongside beautiful reproductions.

Before you realize it, your coffee has gone cold and your cigar has gone out.

Wednesday, June 06, 2001

The Art of Cigar Bands