Monday, November 8, 2010



12 East 42nd Street, NYC

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

It was at a Holiday Fair downtown that we got a hint might be ultimate gift for cigar smokers…

Collectible, and carved humidors, gloriously crafted by David Linley’s bespoke architectural firm---an exclusive to the Big Apple based Tobacconist, Nat Sherman. ($4000-$45,000)

(FYI: Mr. Linley is Queen Elizabeth’s nephew---and founded his company---acclaimed for hand wrought wooden furniture--- in 1985). 

We also previewed beautiful cigar holders made from exotic skins and limited edition cigars (of primo DR tobacco and North Carolina leaves--Nat Sherman’s “Legendary Cigars”)…that we decided to stop by the bricks and mortar retail emporium in midtown last week.

Located on East 42 St, a block from Grand Central, Nat Sherman’s large multi-story emporium is a welcome throwback to the elegance and glamour of years past:

Polished wood paneling and shelves purveying all forms of tobacco…

And gleaming glass cases containing wonderful and often rare cigar accessories ---cutters, cases, lighters, ashtrays with serious heft

Old fashioned courteous service by knowledgeable staff equally aplomb at steering the know it alls and no nothings ---in the right direction with regards to smokes and non-smoking items.

Well-sourced non-smoking gift items with an Anglophile slant--- clearly aimed at men who ‘know the difference’---or women for that matter--- like vintage La Casa de Cuervo y Sobrinos wristwatches from Cuba---by the iconic watchmaker that was founded in Havana in 1882,

Coffee table proud--- reproductions of classic cocktail books that would delight any inhibitor, Geoffrey Parker’s famous artesian leather inlayed backgammon sets, leather golf items….

And the throwback to luggage of your grandparents…Globe-Trotter hand made luxury luggage, crafted in England- since 1897. 

A handsomely inviting smoking “Johnson Club’ on the lower level…decorated with plush leather seating arrangements, and a separate humidor room that’s really like a tropical library except instead of stacks of books, the warm (and perfectly humid and generator backed-up) locker space stores smokes ---identified with numbered brass name plates (some anonymous---i.e. “The Lawyer.” ---)

 ----We had a nice chat with Aaron L. Sigmond---a raconteur par excellence (he is a noted editor, columnist and author of articles and well respected books on all things cigars)---

And from what we could tell, the front person at the now third generation family owned Nat Sherman.

A lot of what is for sale is a refection of the high standards set in place since Nat Sherman’s founding in 1930---including exclusive to the store cigars from the most esteemed brands in the world and NS’s eponymous premium smokes and tobacco blends for pipes.

BONUS: there’s an active e-commerce that properly ships all--- internationally as well as domestically.

And a line-up of in-store events ---that make this midtown location a destination in itself.

 At a recent event Laura Chavin...deluxe cigars and an exclusive to Nat Sherman humidor even non-smokers will covet.