One of the essential little items that’s impossible to find in the United States is the baccy box. You can pick one up for about £3 in any decent tobacconist in the United Kingdom. But in the U.S.A., they’re unheard of. And the kind of box I'm looking for only lasts a couple of years before the springs give out so the lid flaps uselessly and the paper holder no longer holds the papers.
A google search will tend to throw up a variety of decorated tins, some of them antique. None of them has a hinged lid with a spring that will hold it open. None has a sprung holder inside the lid to retain the rolling papers. The key words “Ash tobacco tin paper clip celtic patten” led me to a British Web site at http://www.roll-ups.co.uk/ which offers “Small Hinged Lid Tobacco Tins.“
For some reason, the one with the celtic design stamped on the top is out of stock everywhere but the wavy-striped lid would be perfectly acceptable at £3.99 (now 1/2 price at £1.99 while stocks last). The only problem is that the minimum order from www.roll-ups.co.uk is £19.99. And, although the insides tend to rust badly after about 18 months, I’m not about to order a 10-year supply. Nobody who rolls his own cigarettes has a right to that kind of life expectancy.
A compromise is available at http://www.bewild.com/abpastbox.html, even though the paper holder isn’t quite right and the $7.99 price is exorbitant after postage and packing.
Initially, I was disappointed by the $7.99 compromise and didn't considered worth the $6 packing and shipping charge. There is no spring to hold the lid open when you're rolling a cigarette while standing up. Nor is there a spring in the paper holder. You have to wedge the pack of rolling papers behind the clip which, initially, holds them so tightly that a single paper tears when you pull it out. However, I think I've got the hang of it. The photo is misleading and the solid clip is actually quite effective if the papers are put in with their cover folded behind them.
If only the “Ash tobacco tin paper clip celtic patten” had not been out of stock, I’d have done much better. But then it wouldn't be long before the springs failed. So maybe I'm better off with the unsprung version after all.