An ingenious cigar case
When the fashion of cigar smoking gets common in broad parts of the population, the flow of accessories will also increase. Cases in an infinite series are designed to serve as a gift item or as a practical utensil. This cigar case is quite a special one, as an elongated object made of papier-mâché. On the outside it is covered with brown paper that should give the impression of leather. This appearance matches the leather cases of the cigar pipes that were in use at the time. What makes this case chic is the porcelain plaque in metal frame on the front. It shows a hand-painted portrait of a beautiful Spanish woman in a seductive dress. She represents the ultimate beauty ideal from that period. The shape of this cigar case harks back to painted sheet metal cigar cases from the 1820s and 1830s made in Germany. This copy was clearly made a generation later. A special feature is the closing system whereby the two ends are pushed aside to open the central lid. Rather unexpected is the combination of the durable porcelain plaque and the delicate paper that is not resistant to tear and wear. To his disappointment, the owner would soon have discovered that. Fortunately this wear and tear passed by this cigar case, it stayed unused for more than a century to finally become a museum object.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 22.366Permalink