The world famous jewellery and decorative art house of Fabergé, is best known for its exquisitely crafted, elaborately jewel-encrusted Fabergé Eggs. However, The House of Fabergé is also highly celebrated for its impressive range of jewellery and other ornamental objects such as, enameled gold and silver gilt, as well as photograph frames; gold and silver boxes; desk sets and timepieces.

The extraordinary piece illustrated is an absolutely striking, antique Fabergé cigarette case, which has been brought to us for verification. What makes this piece so special, apart from its impressive provenance and that it was crafted by the world famous workshop of Fabergé, is the slot running the length of it side. This slot would have contained what is known as a “tinder cord”. A tinder cord is a cord made of hemp, which, when lit would remain burning until retracted back into the case where it would extinguish itself due to lack of oxygen. The fashion of smoking cigarettes took off the late 1800’s, while matches, which were invented in 1852, remained relatively expensive and at times difficult to procure. The tinder cord was utilized for lighting multiple cigarettes, pipes and cigars at once, thus saving valuable matches. 

The case has been engraved on the inside lid in Russian “From Field-marshall Great Prince Nicolai-Nicolaevecha to captain the elder Alex Josefouvicu Maravichu 1890 August 29th Warzawa”, providing excellent, clear provenance.

This superb cigarette case has been recently sold by Leonard Joel’s Auction. Please contact John D’Agata, Head of Jewellery, for further information.

-Ronnie Bauer