The Lithographic Art

The exquisite lithography, which during many years has accompanied the Cuban Cigar, is, undoubtedly, along with the quality and excellence of it, one of its identity hallmarks.

Opening a Habanos cigar pouch is a party in all senses, where the sight is the first to be delighted before the beauty of the drawing covering the lid in which the brand of the product is advertised. When taking the lid off, we see in the other side what is known as the vista, a multicolored lithography, sometimes embossed and with golden glitters, undoubtedly the most beautiful artistic message of the pouch.

Opposite to the vista, in one of the side of a sheet of paper that is stuck on the pouch and the other free for the smoker to lift up, the bofetón appears.

The Bofetón is an attractive and suggestive drawing, generally of an oval shape that directly covers the first layer of Habanos. The box or pouch is lined in its four sides with the papeleta, a paper ribbon that covers the smelling of the cedar.

To get an idea of the richness of the lithographic art in Cuba, it is enough to say that this has been developed since the first half of the 19 Century when the Island General of the Army, before the wide variety of manufacturers and their respective brands ordered that those were officially registered.

In this way, the numerous collections of lithographies were originated and nowadays, they are a treasure of the Cuban plastic arts where many events of the Cuban society have been represented. By 1829, the Second Lithographic Printer's was inaugurated and since 1839, two lithographies were established in the capital for making the labels of the export cigars. The golden polychromy adorning the boxes were started to be made in 1880.

These collections of marquillas cigarreras, bofetones and anillas can be seen in the Museum of the City, in the Habano Museum and in many private collections. The art of collecting such lithographic samples is known as Vitofilia