In a Nutshell: Blaze of Glory from Arts & Antiques
Demand for cigarette cases kept FabergÃ©â€™s artisans busy. According to the 1998 book The FabergÃ© Case, Jalmari Haikonen, an engraver employed by FabergÃ© in St. Petersburg from 1915â€“18, noted seeing as many as 40 lined up, awaiting his attention. â€œA cigarette case was something you wanted a beautiful example of,â€ says Mark Schaffer, a principal at A La Vieille Russie in New York. â€œSome were simpler, and some were elaborate, but they utilized all the techniques for which FabergÃ© was famous.â€ . . .
Munn and Schaffer agree that strictures against smoking have reduced collector interest in FabergÃ© cigarette cases. Though aficionados pounce on magnificently ornamented examples, such as the anniversary case, the plainer ones in gold and silver, which were the entry-level luxury goods of their day, lost their popularity as smoking declined. Collectors have tried repurposing casesâ€”Schaffer knows of some who have filled them with business cards, and Munn recalls others who have converted them into compactsâ€”but most owners are more interested in their form than in their function. â€œThey wonâ€™t take modern cigarettes, anyway,â€ Munn says. â€œCigarettes of the time were longer.â€.
In a Nutshell: Blaze of Glory
Arts & Antiques
By:Â Sheila Gibson Stoodley