Two mid century cigarette cases in various materials
CONDITION: good vintage condition
APPROXIMATE DATE: mid century
MATERIALS: metal, celluloid faux tortoiseshell
Here we have two cigarette cases of the type which would probably have been used for every day.
#1 is of silver tone metal decorated with engine turning. This is a form of engraving done by machine, and was a very popular decorative device on cigarette cases. The uniform, symmetrical patterns it created mimicked hand-engraved decoration from the age of the snuff box and also fitted art deco ideals. This case measures 3¼ x 3¼ ins (8 x 8 cm)
#2 probably dates from the 1940s – 1950s and is made from laminated slabs of celluloid with a mottled design. It measures 3 x 2½ ins (7.5 x 5 cm)
The functional reason for a cigarette case is to keep the fragile tubes of tobacco within from being crushed. But smoking cigarettes has never been a purely utilitarian pursuit. It has long been associated with style and fashion, which is why cigarette cases quickly became highly decorative personal accessories. The more common type of case, and the one that probably comes to mind first when we think of cigarette cases, was the slim rectangle or square designed to fit in a jacket pocket or a small purse. By the 1940s, home cigarette cases for the popular end of the market were being produced out of laminated slabs of Bakelite and silver plated engine turned metal.
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Two mid century cigarette cases smoking memorabilia