“Tobacco was among the first commodities to be sold in printed paper wrappers,” writes Michael Twyman, in his Enclyclopedia of Ephemera.
“The design element of tobacco papers was normally confined to the centre of the printed sheet, which was large enough to accommodate varying quantities of tobacco. The earliest designs were in the tradition of the bookplate, but later they took on the characteristics of the trade card and were often printed from plates actually designed as trade cards. Engraved pictorial designs were common in Germany, Holland, and France; although almost everywhere they gave way to the crude woodcuts that were to remain the common denominator….”
Here are three recently acquired nineteenth-century examples from Amsterdam.
Maurice Rickards, The Encyclopedia of Ephemera; edited and completed by Michael Twyman, with the assistance of Sally De Beaumont and Amoret Tanner (New York: Routledge, 2000). Graphic Arts: Reference Collection (GARF), Oversize NC1280 .R52 2000q