A Large 100 cigarettes Tin with fabulous Egyptian Graphics dating to the late 1800's. In very good condition for age this tin measures 5 3/4" x 4 1/2" x 1 3/4' in depth. The Gouras & Cokkalis Egyptian Cigarette firm was based in Port Said and was one of many Greek operated Tobacco companies of the time. They appear to have been a minor player in the market so this tin is probably somewhat hard to find.
The Egyptian cigarette industry, during the period between the 1880s and the end of the First World War, was a major export industry that influenced global fashion. It was notable as a rare example of the global periphery setting trends in the global centre in a period when the predominant direction of cultural influence was the reverse, and also as one of the earliest producers of globally traded manufactured finished goods outside the West. The development of a major cigarette industry in Egypt in the late nineteenth century was unexpected, given that Egypt generally exported raw materials and imported manufactured goods, that Egyptian-grown tobacco was always of poor quality, and that the cultivation of tobacco in Egypt was banned in 1890 (a measure intended to facilitate the collection of taxes on tobacco).
One reason for the development of the industry was the imposition of a state tobacco monopoly in the Ottoman Empire, a measure designed to increase Ottoman government revenue. This resulted in the movement of many Ottoman tobacco merchants, usually ethnic Greeks, to Egypt, a country which was culturally similar to and was in fact arguably de jure a part of the Ottoman Empire but outside the tobacco monopoly as a result of its de facto occupation by the United Kingdom.
A 1919 American advertisement for an Egypt–inspired cigarette brand, S. Anargyros' "Egyptian deities"
The founder of the industry was Nestor Gianaclis, a Greek who arrived in Egypt in 1864 and in 1871 established a factory in the Khairy Pasha palace in Cairo. After British troops began being stationed in Egypt in 1882, British officers developed a taste for the Egyptian cigarettes and they were soon being exported to the United Kingdom. Gianaclis and other Greek industrialists such as Ioannis Kyriazis of Kyriazi frères successfully produced and exported cigarettes using imported Turkish tobacco to meet the growing world demand for cigarettes in the closing decades of the nineteenth century.
Egyptian cigarettes made by Gianaclis and others became so popular in Europe and the United States that they inspired a large number of what were, in effect, locally produced counterfeits. Among these was the American Camel brand, established in 1913, which used on its packet three Egyptian motifs: the camel, the pyramids, and a palm tree. Fellow Greeks in the United States also imported or produced such cigarettes.
G. Gouras & PH. Cokkalis Egyptian Cigarette Tin Circa 1880-1900
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