Rare Vintage Tobaccos to be Auctioned in Chicago

G. L. Pease

Mike and Mary McNiel of the McClelland Tobacco Company have something very special to present this coming weekend, 4-5th May, in Chicago.

Several 4-ounce tins of rare, very old Dunhill tobaccos were discovered last year amongst company artifacts. These will be on display and made available in a silent auction conducted at their table at the 18th annual Chicagoland International Pipe and Tobacciana Show.

Fred Hanna and I were present during an informal unveiling at last year’s Kansas City show. Never at a loss for words, Fred said, “These are not collectors’ cans, they are museum pieces.” Included in the lot is a tin of Savory’s Savory Blend, something neither Fred nor I had ever seen.


To say that they are remarkable specimens would be a dramatic understatement. If their considerable age establishes their rarity, their exceptional condition amplifies it. For the tobacco geeks amongst us, these are nothing short of magnificent.

The tins appear to date to approximately 1952-1953. All but the Durbar have intact tax stamps, and all are marked with the Royal Warrant and accompanying text, "By Appointment to the Late King George VI," who held the throne until his death in February, 1952. This text would have been used at least until the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in June, 1953. The tins are puffy and tight, with no pinholes or leaks. Hanna commented, "I’ve never seen anything like this." Neither have I.


Mike and Mary will be accepting silent, sealed bids for these tobaccos during the show at the McClelland Tobacco table in the Expo hall, where the tins will be on display. Winners will be announced at noon on Sunday.

DUNHILL’s Standard Mixture, 4 oz – starting bid $1500
DUNHILL’s Aperitif, 4 oz – starting bid $1500
DUNHILL’s Three Year Matured, 4 oz – starting bid $1500
DUNHILL’s Durbar, 4 oz – starting bid $1500
SAVORY’S Savory Blend, 4 oz – starting bid $1400

A few other interesting vintage tins will also be available. Be sure to stop by at least for a look. These tins are a rare piece of history that simply must be seen.


Comments are closed