The Royal Collection
via The Royal Collection Trust
Image Courtesy of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
King George V was a longtime smoker. Even Queen Mary was known to take a puff or two—especially later in life. Cigarette smoking was quite fashionable by the Nineteenth Century, and, of course, was also a good excuse to collect a good many handsome items which only made smoking more glamorous. Chief among smoking related objects was the cigarette case.
Fabergé perfected the art of producing cigarette cases and created cases which ranged rom the simplest styles to the most elaborate gold and enamelled versions. Cases by Fabergé feautured concealed hinges, smooth edges and jewelled push pieces. These details made them the poshest accessory of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras.
This particular case of gold, brilliant diamonds, cabochon sapphires was designed by Eduard Schramm for Fabergé. The goldwork is rendered in a technique known as samorodok (gold nugget), in which the plate metal is brought almost to a melting point and then removed quickly from the furnace. This causes rapid shrinking which creates a crumpled appearance.