Silver cigarette case with decorative front and back, engraved with owners initials. Early 20th century.
This case would have held smaller cigarettes than those we see today but which were the common size at the time. The back has a wonderful curved shape and further etched with decorative patterning which has smoothed over time. The hinge is intact and working and the clasp opens and secures. There are elastic support guards that have tanned and the inner case has a yellowed patina.
Condition: Lovely aged patina, with some dings and dimples over time commensurate with age, but still beautiful. Uncleaned.
Dimensions: 8.5cm x 6.5cm
Provenance: Ex. estate Essex gentleman, UK.
Cigarette cases were in common use from the nineteenth century, until the mid twentieth century. They were largely to protect cigarettes from breaking or damage, in a more effective way than paper cigarette boxes were capable of. The durable metal cases were often decorated with enamel or engravings, and due to smoking being perceived as a masculine pursuit, the design of cigarette cases for men meant that these images on the enamel or engraving often featured women in a state of 'erotic' undress.
As with all vintage and antique silverware and gold, there were examples of cigarette cases which were created as the finest example of their type, and intended for use by those who were in the upper echelons of society. There are many examples of gold cigarette cases, as well as the more commonly found silver cigarette cases.
Many gold cigarette cases were engraved, whereas silver cigarette case is more likely to feature an enamel decoration, this is likely because gold was considered too valuable to cover with any other material, and was aesthetically pleasing enough in its own right, without further decoration. Gold cigarette cases often feature engraving, as these would have been highly expensive items, often given as gifts and just as with men's jewellery of the nineteenth century, many items such as these were engraved with the owners monograms and initials.
© The Antiques Shops 2021 All rights reserved
Powered by w3.css