Humidors have always been one of the most desirable forms of the Brilliant Period, however most lack exciting, well-done cutting. This humidor couldn’t be further from the more common pieces that most collectors have encountered. Cut in Libbey’s Neola pattern, both the jar and lid are signed Libbey with the saber. It’s readily apparent from the details of this pattern, that this piece was designed by master craftsman William C. Anderson and it was patented by him in 1902.
The lid alone of this jar is a complete masterpiece. I have not seen a humidor lid, or any lid for that matter, cut this well. Three hobstars are arranged on the outer portion of the lid with one central hobstar at the very top. All of these are very deeply cut and are separated by the unique flashing motif that Neola is so well known for. Wedding-Cake hobstars. That’s immediately what I think of when I hear Neola. These are the large, 3-tiered hobstars featured prominently in the center of the humidor. After handling a number of Neola pieces over the years, I’d say they are the best hobstars Libbey ever cut. Each one of these Wedding-Cake hobstars has a point extension that is topped with flashing. The flashing motif repeats itself on the jar and nested in each X-shaped flash, there is a smaller hobstar. The base of the jar is finished with a rayed star.
Even when separated from the jar, the lid of the humidor is a work of art. When combined with the base, this jar becomes one of the best of the period. The humidor is quite large measuring just over 9″ tall and 5 1/2″ wide and is in perfect condition. The blank is of the highest quality. This Neola humidor shows what Libbey was able to achieve at the height of the Brilliant Period. I have this priced around what most average humidors sell for, while this one outshines all of the competition.
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