Q: In our grandfather's attic, we found dozens of old cigar boxes and would like to know how to find out if they have any value. Is there a market for such boxes or a cigar box collector we can contact?
A: The value of a cigar box depends on its age, brand name of cigars, size, whether the box or container has an unusual shape, the theme or subject matter of the label, historical factors if any, condition, completeness and rarity.
Cigar industry historian Tony Hyman has collected cigar boxes for 40 years and has more than 4,000. Mr. Hyman wrote the only book on the subject, "Handbook of American Cigar Boxes," which includes a price guide as well as illustrations and descriptions of cigar boxes. It is available for $23.95 postpaid from Box 699, Claremont, Calif. 91711. He also offers, free, an illustrated brochure, "Wanted Cigar Boxes," listing the types of box and related items he seeks, for which he will pay $5 to $5,000. To get the brochure, send an addressed, stamped business-size envelope. It also tells how to date cigar boxes and how to get them appraised free. You may phone Mr. Hyman at (714) 621-5952 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., California time.