Club pipe tobacco

Hungarian title:

Club pipadohány


Unknown artist


Tram poster (cca. 24 x 17 cm)


around 1930


Near mint.


Paint on cardboard.

Price: US$600


This original vintage commercial poster mockup was created in the interwar period, during the 1930s. The aim of the commercial was to advertise the Club pipe tobacco. The artwork was designed by Jeno Deme. There is hardly any information known about Deme, but we can find some nice artworks by him from the 1930s and the 1950s. These are modernist and decorative pieces, showing the influences of the most important tendencies of poster art of the periods.

This work is a beautiful Art Deco piece. It is a simple, concentrated composition with an opened matchbox and a brown pipe athwart behind, and the name of the company in its original typographic design from the period in front. The design of the matchbox is also visible: ‘The Spark’ is written on it beside an old, long-bearded male figure in headscarf and in front of a two pyramids and a palm tree depicted behind. The blue shades of the typographic design and the matchbox are matching, thus contributing to a harmonic visual effect. The tawny beige colour of the homogenous background and the dark blue shades of the pipe also harmonize with each other really well, and the totality of the beige-blue-brown colours gives an elegant look to the design. Although the portrayal of the elements are a bit simplified and stylized, still it is quite detailed at the same time. We can see the gentle transitions of colours on the different shapes of the pipe as it is lit from the side. This way, the shade of the pipe is also made visible, and it is captured in a delicate way. Together with the angles applied in the depiction of the elements, this shade creates a spectacular three-dimensional effect being in contrast with the flatness of the background. The typographic design is even stronger highlighted: it seems as if it swelled from the image. The whole composition is highly attractive and artistic. The piece is a characteristic design of the period.

It was not an unusual phenomenon that tobacco and cigarette brands and companies commissioned elegant, high quality designs. Smoking was growingly popular in the 20th century worldwide, and became available for the poor and rich, too, due to the wide range of the quality of products. In Hungary the production of tobacco was regulated from 1867, when the Hungarian Royal Tobacco Excise came into being. Afterwards the national tobacco production was developing year by year, obtaining more and more smokers. The Excise participated at the Budapest International Fairs with interesting exhibits about their methods and new brands.

It happened in 1937 May that Club scented pipe tobacco was initiated in the country. The news reported the occasion like this:

“Just as in every year, the exhibition of the Tobacco Excise has been a great surprise this year, as well.  It was not only because of its pavilion built with a distinguished taste, but also because of its newest products. [...] But the Tobacco Excise didn’t forget about pipe smokers, neither, so it issued the English-style puered Club pipe tobacco which used to be produced specifically on request, becoming popular even that way. What the Darling is for cigarette-smokers, the Club will be for pipe-smokers.”

It is possible that this poster mockup was created among the first designs for the new brand.

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