Home|The Smokers' Room (Hall 6)

The Smokers' Room (Hall 6)

The dedication of an entire room to the habit of smoking might come as a surprise to contemporary audiences. The use and consumption of tobacco has sparked huge debates between its detractors and defenders, but there is no denying the fact that over the years it has become a social, cultural and sexual symbol.

The consumption of tobacco has produced an endless supply of objects that are perfect for collecting-pipes, cigarette holders, cigar cases, tobacco pouches, snuff boxes, match boxes, rolling papers, ashtrays, lighters and more.

The group of cigar cases on display here encompasses a variety of interesting and evocative subjects from the 19th century. This display can be found in the showcase located between the two windows on the right. First there is the political type, featuring portraits of General Espartero or General O'Donnell. Then there are those that can be consideredsouvenirs, showing cities like Venice, Paris and London. There are even cases that have been personalized with the owner's initials. And as you can see, many materials have been used here, including metal, mother-of-pearl, ivory, tortoiseshell and leather.

Another important grouping includes snuff boxes and leaf tobacco boxes. The different materials generally come from specific sites. The metal ones are almost all from The Netherlands, while those made of horn are mainly Spanish. There are also wooden boxes in the shape of a shoe or acorn, among others.

Printed materials related to smoking are quite extensive-cigar bands, cigar brands, rolling papers, match boxes and more. Their styles provide a veritable tour of the tastes and fashions of the 19th century and part of the 20th-politics, humor, historical figures, actors and the world of sensuality and eroticism (often accompanied by photographs).

This space brings together other collections which are only slightly related to smoking, or not at all. Notice the interesting collection of playing cards, as well as others that are related to sales. The bills of exchange, and weights and measures, are of particular interest.