Cigarette Holder

Art Deco Cartier Amber, Diamond and Onyx Cigarette Holder.

Art Deco Cartier Amber, Diamond and Onyx Cigarette Holder.

A cigarette holder is a rather elegant accessory for both ladies and gentlemen designed to hold a cigarette. These elongated tubular devices were made from a wide range of materials ranging from platinumgold, and silver to jadeiteivory, and plastic and could be gem-set, carved, or otherwise embellished. For women, cigarette holders came in different lengths for different occasions just like pearls or gloves: 16 to 20 inch Opera Length, 10 to 14-inch Theatre Length, 4 to 6-inch Dinner Length, and a Shorter Cocktail Length. Cigarette holders for men were generally shorter and less flamboyant than those for women. These frivolous little accessories added a bit of panache to those who used them. 

Before the advent of filtered cigarettes, holders, besides lending an air of sophisticated polish, served to both secure a filter and prevent nicotine-stained fingers. Ostensibly, their purpose was to cool the smoke and make the experience more pleasurable, however, for most smokers, it was a tool used to attract attention to oneself. The fashion for cigarette holders ran roughly from 1910 into the 1970s, with some of the most soigné examples being produced during the Art Deco period. Cigarette holders are still in limited use today and are particularly popular in Japan.