Royal cigarette presentation box
This beautiful silver box is the last of its kind to present cigarettes in a stylish way. Once a gift from the Thai king Bhumibol, locally known as Rama IX to one of his Swiss relations. We see a solid box made with craftsmanship, both for practical use and for showing off. The object has a sleek design but with a clear Eastern appearance due to the flaming niello ornamentation in grey-black silver on the lid. Centrally recessed within a shining silver circle, we see a golden applique in relief of the symbol of the Noble Order of the Crown of Siam, an ancient order of chivalry of Thailand. This motif was intended to keep the memory of the distinguished donor alive. The inside of the box shows an interior of burr walnut wood divided into two compartments, for two types of cigarettes or also a compartment for cigars? The box was made in Bangkok in the well-equipped factory known as Thai Nakon Silverware and Nielloware. For a royal gift, that factory is perhaps a little too ordinary. In addition to being a practical utensil for cigarette smokers and a luxurious diplomatic gift, this box is now also a testimony of a dying custom. Since the moment cigarette smoking was en vogue, it was one of the hospitable gestures to present cigarettes when receiving guests. An impressive gift box had to add luster to that almost sacred moment. But the prestige of the cigarette changed quickly. From the beloved fresh smoke to a dangerous article of addiction. Decades later, the cigarette presentation box disappeared for good from the table, and cigarettes are now hastily smoked on the streets.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 24.671
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