Cigar tips were used used to light up a cigar, usually out of doors. It is in the form of a flower head and stem. The short stem (usually about 12.7 mm (1/2 inch) long), is wood or wax taper. This is inserted in the far end of the cigar to be lit. The igniting compound is the centre of the flower which is surrounded by a decorative rosette of thin linen fabric cut to the shape of a 5 petalled brightly coloured flower. These devices were not made in Britain, but were imported from the Continent. This one is probably Austrian and dates to around 1845. From the Bryant and May collection of firemaking at the Science Museum, London.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library