A large carved wooden 'point of sale' Native American tobacco trade sign

A truly exceptional, very rare, large wooden point of sale advertising model. Freestanding; this model likely representing a Powhatan leader. 

Native Americans have long been associated with tobacco (since the 17th century), it having ritual and ceremonial significance in the culture, and having introduced Westerners to it. 

This traditional Native American figure became known as the 'cigar store Indian' and the figure came to represent tobacconists as a group. This acted similarly to the barber's pole, gold balls for pawn brokers and so on, with a largely illiterate population being able to recognise the emblem and so the nature of the store.

As a result of European carvers rarely having seen a Native American, these early 'cigar store Indians' looked more African with feather headdresses and other exotic features. 

This fine, rare example comes from the Trevor Barton (1920-2008) collection, which represented more than 50 years of acquisition and study, by a Hertfordshire pipe collector known to many in the antiques trade as ‘The Pipe Man’.


A wonderful collector’s piece that we’re sure will find its way into a special collection, or maybe back into a shop, bar or restaurant.

A rare thing indeed.


All approximate


114cm height

33cm width

30cm depth


Condition: Where there are specific points to note we will detail these as far as possible but please be aware that all our items have wear commensurate with age and are as seen in the photographs. If you require any specific information please do not hesitate to get in contact. Please note the wear, natural splits to the wood and the losses. 


Collection only

Please note: This item cannot be shipped but we have an excellent and competitive bespoke courier service. Please email us for more information or a quote. If you wish to collect in person, or to use our courier service, please select "Pick up" at checkout.

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