Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: The Gérard Sandoz Cigarette Case, 1929

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Cigarette Case
Sandoz of Paris, c. 1932
The Victoria & Albert Museum

As cigarette smoking became the stuff of the elegant and fashionable, suitably posh accessories were created by jewelers to cash-in on the deadly habit. Lighters, cigarette holders and cigarette cases were made of the finest metals and gems, and, give a pretty face to a nasty practice. 

Take this handsome cigarette case from Paris. Made in 1929 by Gérard Sandoz, the flat, rectangular case is characteristic of the geometry of Art Deco design. Sandoz was a top Parisian jeweler whose angular style was one of the most influential of any jeweler of his period. You can see his favored style here with the geometric pattern of green, black and white enamel on silver. A stripe below the triangular pattern of the case is inlaid with eggshell—an odd medium for the day. However, Sandoz was a proponent of incorporating new materials into jewelry, and, obviously, he was quite good at it.  

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