As early as the 18th century, cigar connoisseurs have preferred porcelain jars for the optimal storage of their cigars, which bestow a unique flavour to the tobacco thanks to slow maturation from oxygen deprivation. Owner and designer at her self-titled porcelain manufactory, Barbara Flügel has harnessed German porcelain’s excellent properties to create a polished and peerless cigar humidor. Durable and impermeable, this humidor stores your cigars in their best-possible environment, preserving their quality for you to enjoy when desired.
Barbara Flügel’s humidor is an inventive German feat, scrupulously thought out to the finest detail. The lid is the key to ensuring the optimal humid atmosphere and forms the heart of this timeless creation. Anchored by a bayonet lock within the lid, the humidification container crafted from a special clandestine porcelain mass is filled with moisture pearls to ensure the ultimate air to moisture ratio. At the base, a hyg rometer effortlessly indicates the humidor’s humidity level so you know instantaneously if and when the cigars’ climate changes. A well-perforated inner container protects the cigars from potential condensation on the one hand, and guarantees even humidity within the humidor on the other. A porcelain plate perforated with common cigar diameters ensures optimal positioning of your cigars, while a hand-turned base and center column made of antibacterial Spanish Cedar perfectly complement the cigars.
The humidor’s sophisticated semblance further enhances its appeal. Harmoniously combining first-class German engineering with exquisite design, cigar aficionados can take delight in this humidor’s noble presentation. Its sleek white exterior is crowned with a porcelain lion or dragon figurine, accompanied by your initials, personally hand-painted in 24K gold, platinum or silver and then baked at 850°C. Barbara Flügel insists on this exclusivity, to create a truly bespoke, extraordinary and artistic cigar treasure trove that suits any setting.
FOUR sits down Barbara to find out more about these picturesque porcelain masterpieces…
Tell us about the porcelain humidor – where did the inspiration to design and manufacture it come from?
Over 20 years ago a cigar retailer, who liked my dragon-decorated tableware asked me whether I could imagine manufacturing a humidor for him. Of course I could, and as my father was a passionate cigar smoker, I had a personal attachment to this request immediately. Besides, I learnt at a young age that cigar smokers smoke for pleasure in the ﬁrst place. I too love a special treat, so I accepted this challenge, both to indulge myself and as a homage to my father. Unfortunately, the client died during the conception phase.
Can you share the details on its design?
Most humidors are square boxes. Cigars are round. That is why for me, cigars have to be stored in round boxes. Moreover, porcelain is a perfect material for round forms, it does not like sharp corners. So my humidor is round. It is classic, elegant and unique in combining two exquisite materials – porcelain and Spanish Cedar. With its sleek white exterior crowned by a golden, platinum or silver decorated dragon or lion, my humidor is a timeless creation and a symbol of self awareness.
What are the unique elements that make it really stand out in terms of optimum functionality as a humidor?
Porcelain is clean and hygienic and the Spanish Cedar enhances the maturation and ﬂavour development of the cigars. The combination of both materials is the perfect match.
The lid is the key to ensuring the optimal climate. The humidiﬁcation container is made of proprietary porcelain and is ﬁlled with moisture pearls, all contained within the lid with a bayonet lock. A hygrometer in the base allows you to monitor the climate changes from the outside. A perforated inner container protects the cigars from condensation , and ensures even humidity levels within the humidor. A porcelain holding plate with holes of diﬀerent diameter accommodate the cigars in an optimum position ,this way the cigars are protected from condensation and kept at a constant humidity level. The hand made holder of Spanish Cedar perfectly complements the humidor.
Tell us more about the steps in the production process and how this results in a top-quality end product?
All parts of the humidor are handmade and have to ﬁt accurately into each other with absolute precision. To ensure high quality levels, each process is monitored and each part is checked during the production process.
How long did it take you to perfect the design before you were happy with it?
Tidying up my storage area, the ﬁrst draft of the humidor’s design fell into my hands again and I decided to give it a second try because I thought it was worth pursuing. I started a fact ﬁnding discussion with my cigar smoking friends about today’s needs and standards of cigar
storage. Finally, it took more than one year to develop the humidor with all its subtleties and design features.
What is it about German porcelain that makes it perfect for use as a humidor?
German hard porcelain mainly consists of kaolin, quarz and feldspat and is ﬁred at very high temperatures (1400 degrees). Porcelain as a material is the queen of ceramics and the very top of ceramic products. Even without glazing, it is already completely leak proof. It is also resistant against acids and bases, making it hygienic. It is easy to decorate, for example with gold, platinum and silver. Combined with Spanish Cedar, German hard porcelain is the perfect material to execute a sophisticated and practical item.
Tell us more about the dragon and the lion ﬁgurines. Why these two animals, what is their signiﬁcance?
I like magic and mythic creatures especially the ﬁre-spitting dragon and the proud lion. Both are strong and powerful. My favourite is the lion because a lion is nearly always serene, observing, waiting, conﬁdent and sovereign, qualities I also attribute to cigar smokers.
Dragons and lions emphasize the distinctive, elegant character of the humidor as well as of its owner.
You hand-paint the initials of clients on top of the porcelain cabouchon – why is this personal touch something you insists on?
It always was and still is my wish to make the dreams of my costumers come true. I never produced mass wares. Barbara Flügel Porcelain is a small manufacturer where every single piece is hand-made. I love to create individual objects for individuals, for people who adore and appreciate the extraordinary. Being an individualist too, I really enjoy to pass this passion on to others . For me it is the a highlight to paint the customer’s initials by myself as the ﬁnishing touch. It is a way to value my customers’ conﬁdence in me and my work.
How do you hope this humidor will impact the lives of its owners and why is it better than other humidors on the market?
My humidor is a creative German product with thorough attention to detail. It is a combination of ﬁrst-class German craftsmanship with exquisite design. Greatest attention was payed to its function. My humidor is a truly bespoke, extraordinary and artistic cigar treasure trove, which enhances the pleasure of a good cigar.
To find out more, visit Barbara Flügel Porcelain’s website.