A humidor is a storage container for cigars that offers needed humidity control. Often box-shaped, these containers have been around for at least 200 years.From what materials were antique humidors made?
Humidors have been manufactured from various materials over the centuries, so antique varieties can be constructed from any of the following materials, among others:
- Wood, especially Spanish cedar
Originally, a humidor was just a hinged box crafted from wood with a capacity of approximately 50 cigars. As they evolved, humidors got much larger. Novelty humidors, which resembled anything but a box, were often produced as well. An antique humidor can be styled in any of the following ways and many more:
- A desktop cigar box: This is probably the most common of the antique styles. A box or container small enough to fit on a mantel or desktop offers sufficient space for the cigars needed on a daily basis and is light enough to be moved around from room to room as desired.
- A large wood cabinet: These are stand-alone pieces, with or without glass doors, that have a combination of shelves, drawers, lazy Susans, and open areas. They are meant to display their contents as much as to safeguard the cigars stored in them.
- Furniture: Some of these antiques are pieces of wood furniture, such as coffee tables and credenzas, with built-in humidors. These offer people a convenient place to keep a larger number of cigars handy.
- A jar: Some antique humidors are transparent or colored glass jars, with or without additional ornamentation and with glass or metallic lids.
- Shaped like people or animals: There are novelty humidors crafted from wood, porcelain, or glass that are shaped like dogs, farmers, railroad cars, houses, and much more.
To protect cigars, present-day wood humidors come equipped with instruments that measure humidity levels called digital hygrometers. They are also equipped with systems for introducing and controlling moisture, such as floral foam, crystal gel, silica beads, or even adjustable electronic dehumidifiers.
Manufacturers in times past had to rely on simpler methods of regulating the humidity in a cigar box. An antique humidor might be outfitted with an analog hygrometer, a space for a wet sponge, or a copper or antique milk lining that would help to keep mold and bacteria from growing.