Municipality of Prilep
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Museum of tobacco

The efforts for establishment of a museum which will expertly shape the materials related to tobacco, directly, or where is the motivation and inspiration, collected after the Second World War, are crowned with the cooperation of the company "Jugotutun" from Skopje, "Tobacco Institute" and "Institute for Protection of the cultural monuments, Natural rarities and Museum" from Prilep. Thus, the Tobacco Museum, owned by the Tobacco Institute – Prilep, was established under the expert guidance of the Institute and Museum - Prilep. Since its founding in 1973, so far, 1700 exhibits divided into four groups are collected and processed:

  • exhibits for enjoyment of tobacco;
  • exhibits from the production, advertising and current operation of the tobacco industry;
  • exhibits from traditional production of tobacco;
  • Art collection with motives from the tobacco planting;

Exhibits at the Museum of tobacco are mostly purchased from institutions and individuals from across Europe, a small part of Asia and Africa, part of them are excavated from the sites in Belgrade, Skopje, Bitola, Prilep, Ljubljana, Frombok and Warsaw, and a small part are a result of giving gifts. Many of the exhibits are real rarity.

Due to all of this, the Museum of Tobacco - Prilep is at the same time international, artistic-handicraft, manufacture and industrial, representative, expensive.



Most important, most representative and communicative single adjusted part of the Museum of Tobacco is the permanent exhibition which is located at the Tobacco Institute and has 750 exhibits.

In the determination of the prevailing character of the exhibition are taken into account those criteria that are followed by already accomplished relevant exhibitions, which are based on the museum theory of the exhibition.



Pipes are most numerous, various in forms, in materials that they are made of and techniques used for it. The wealth of motives and ornaments is an integral part of the presentation of the collection of pipes.

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Many pipes are from well known world manufacturers, older as well as more recent – a result of the industrial commitment and design. The oldest among them originate from the end of XVII and early XVIII century, but due to the fact that some exhibits do not bear marks of year of production, signs of workshops and masters, it is assumed that some of them are even older. This especially applies to the earthenware (ceramic, stajngut, majolic etc.) pipes made by using mould. At the exhibition are exposed pipes that were presented at the World Exhibitions in Vienna and Paris in XVIII and XIX century.

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Chibouks are the pride of the Museum of Tobacco. They are made of gold, silver, glaze, nacre, bones, ivory and rhinoceros bone, valuable and less valuable wood, amber, various metals and minerals. In the techniques of manufacture, the advantage goes to those made with filigree and granulation, carved in bone, hoof, horn, ivory bone and wood as well as with usage of niello technique, whether Oriental, Western - Shamps elevees, or Russian - Tula style. Domestic and Balkan manufacturers are recognized by the chibouks made with intrusion of a silver wire, incrustation of wrought – stripe-like silver in a base of noble wood - so called "Livanjski embroidery" and intrusion of nacre and pearl in plum or walnut tree.



Tobacco - boxes are made of wood, bone, ivory, silver, niello paste, semiprecious and precious stones and the like. They are of different age with various motives and belonged to famous and anonymous users. These exhibits always reflect the artistic spirit of the epoch in which they were manufactured.



The snuffboxes are carefully selected during their purchase, in order to present the luxury and the range of shapes, materials and techniques of productions, as well as the times in which they occurred, times in which tobacco was used as a curative in form of snuff, with the infallible seal of the prevailing "court taste." Remarkable are those from varnished wood, turtle shell, carved bone, nephritis, silver, agate, as well as those with applied glaze and niello.



Other types of exhibits displayed at the exhibition are: dose for tobacco, ashtrays, hookah, water pipes for tobacco and opium, cleaners and chargers for pipes, port cigarettes, kamishi, tobacco cutters, crushers for snuff (mortars), trimming and slicing gadgetry, moulds and other tools for making pipes, holders (holders for cigarettes and matches), boxes for tobacco, cigarettes and matches, serving tray for cigarettes, devices for lighting of pipes, chilami for hashish, lighters, boxes for rolling cigarettes, pokers and much more.

Exhibits are located in a hall, renovated for this purpose and in cabinets designed for the same purpose. The hall is covering an area of 250 m2 with 24 cabinets of three types, placed in it. 16 more cabinets are planned to be set in the years to come.

In the Museum of Tobacco - Prilep there is a library with themes related to the purpose for which it exists, with rare and old copies of books, as for example "Tobaccology" from Neadri from 1626, then picture library and picture library with negatives, collection of promotional material from the tobacco industry and a collection of paintings, valuable and original graphics and reproductions. The Department of documentation and analytics is located in the premises of the Institute and Museum in Prilep.

For the unquestionable growth of the Museum of Tobacco, clear indicator is the fact that the new premises, in which it is now located, were obtained in December 1994 and they are among the best equipped on the Balkan Peninsula.