Cigar bands (Spanish: Anillas) are also wrongly referred to as banderoles. They decorate most of the cigars that are available today and in the meantime are designed as impressively as they are varied. Inventor of the Anilla is the German cigar pioneer Gustav Bock Müller (“Don Gustavo”), who, in 1850, began to adorn his cigars with bands.
What led him to do this originally is steeped in legend. One theory says that the paper loops were supposed to protect the fingers of the noble 19th century women and men from becoming stained. Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to hold a cigar in their hands will however find this theory relatively unbelievable; in untouched form cigar leaves don’t leave any residue on the fingers.
Regardless of the original intention behind the cigar band, it’s clear that Bock landed a successful marketing coup with his invention. Bock’s cigar bands distinguished his cigars from all the others on the market and gave them an unusual individuality.
Within a few decades cigar bands developed to become the business card of a cigar. Cigar manufacturers’ power of innovation behind this seems to no longer have any bounds. From the selection of materials used to printing, design and practical use, cigar bands reflect the character, history and tradition of the cigar brands and their manufacturers.
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This article was published in the Cigar Journal Autumn Edition 2013. Read more