Cigarette Case and Case thumbnail 1
Cigarette Case and Case thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Cigarette Case and Case

1899-1908 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Carl Fabergé is famous for the quality of the enamelled and jewelled objects which were made by his firm in the last decades of the Russian Tsars. The firm was founded by his father in St Petersburg in 1842. Carl was educated in St Petersburg before joining his father who had moved to Dresden in 1860. He studied in Dresden, was apprenticed to the jeweller Friedman in Frankfurt, and travelled to Florence, Paris and London. He entered his father’s firm in St Petersburg in 1865 and took over the business in 1872. He was appointed Jeweller to His Majesty in 1885, the year in he won a gold medal for jewellery in the archaeological style at the Nuremberg Fine Art Exhibition. In 1900 he won a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition. From 1903 the firm had offices in London and from 1911 a shop with a smart frontage at 173 New Bond Street. The London branch closed in 1917 and the firm closed in St Petersburg in 1918. Carl Fabergé escaped to Germany. He died in La Rosiaz, Switzerland, in 1920.
Fabergé’s carved hardstone figures and the superb quality of his enamelling influenced even the great French jewellery houses. His cigarette cases, such as the present example, include work of high originality.
Like many 19th-century goldsmiths, Fabergé often found inspiration in earlier styles, including archaeological jewellery, the Baroque court of early 18th-century Dresden, and France in the age of Louis XVI. Sometimes he is indebted to Russian traditions, or to the East. His collection of Japanese netsuke was acquired by the Hermitage Museum in 1918 after the Russian Revolution.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Cigarette Case
  • Case
Materials and Techniques
Woven gold, partly engraved. Brilliant-cut diamond.
Brief Description
Red gold, green gold, platinum cigarette case with brilliant-cut diamond, Fabergé, St Petersburg, Russia, 1899-1908, with rectangular wooden case
Physical Description
Cigarette case of basket-weave design with interlacing bands of red gold, green gold and platinum. The green gold bands are engraved with laurel leaves. Brilliant-cut diamond push piece.



Rectangular case of varished light-coloured wood with rounded corners. The lid has a concave groove running around its top edge. The base has a bevilled edge. Cream-coloured silk inside lid with double-headed eagle of Imperial Warrant printed in black above St Petersburg, Moscow, London in Cyrillic letters. Fitted base of cream-coloured velvet. Brass catch.
Dimensions
  • Cigarette case height: 10mm
  • Cigarette case width: 90mm
  • Depth: 61mm
  • Wooden case height: 33mm
  • Wooden case width: 108mm
Marks and Inscriptions
St Petersburg mark for gold of 72 zolotniks standard, 1899-1908; Fabergé; AH for August Hollming, one of Fabergé's workmasters
Credit line
Accepted under the Cultural Gifts Scheme by HM Government from Nicholas Snowman and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2017
Object history
Exhibited and published: Fabergé 1846-1920, V&A, 1977, R17 (lent by Robert Strauss, London)

Published by A.Kenneth Snowman, Carl Fabergé: Goldsmith to the Imperial Court of Russia, London, 1979, p. 54

Exhibited and published: Fabergé Hofjuwelier der Zaren, Munich, 1986-7, no. 162

Exhibited and published: Fabergé: Imperial Jeweller, Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, V&A, London, 1993-4, no. 271

On loan to the V&A from 2003 until it became a Cultural Gift from Nicholas Snowman, 2017



This is one of twelve objects presented from the Kenneth and Sallie Snowman Collection by their son, Nicholas. Eleven were given in 2017 under the Cultural Gifts Scheme administered by HM Government. The twelfth, a ring with a cameo of Elizabeth I, was given through the Art Fund in 2016.



Kenneth Snowman (1919-2002) was described on his death by Terence Mullaly as ‘one of the last leading representatives of the London art market’s golden age’. His father, Emanuel Snowman, married the daughter of Morris Wartski, a pedlar in North Wales whose talents made him the owner of a Rolls-Royce with shops in Bangor and Mostyn Street, Llandudno, the ‘golden half-mile’ which was said to boast more royal warrants than anywhere outside London. In 1927 Emanuel made his first purchases of works of art sold by the Soviet Government, the foundation of Wartski’s pre-eminence as an international dealer in Fabergé. Kenneth remembered seeing them laid out on the mantelpiece and bookshelves of the morning room of their house in Hampstead. Aiming at first to be an artist, Kenneth studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art, and earned a fee in 1939 through his illustrations, drawn more from Gray’s Anatomy than from life, for the best-selling Technique of Sex written by Elliot Philipp under the pseudonym of Anthony Havil. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon, but a bazaar at which Sallie Moghi-Levkine (1919-95) presided over the tombola had introduced him to the love of his life and in due course the need to find a more reliable income. He joined the family firm and, making full use of Sallie’s Russian, brought to Fabergé scholarship a new energy and authority.



In an interval at the Royal Opera House on 7 January 1976 he sketched out for Sir Roy Strong a plan for the Fabergé exhibition he curated at the V&A to celebrate the Silver Jubilee, a legendary success which had 150,000 visitors queuing down the Brompton Road, brought the hot-dog sellers over from the Science Museum, and inspired exhibitions across Europe and North America. Wartski became famous for its scholarship, exhibitions and books. Kenneth Snowman’s eminence as an authority on Fabergé carried him into a short story by Ian Fleming, The Property of a Lady, later incorporated in the plot of the film Octopussy. James Bond ‘looked Mr Snowman straight in the eyes’ and said “Will you give me a hand?”.



Kenneth Snowman wrote with even greater affection and no less authority on gold boxes. Eighteenth-Century Gold Boxes of Europe, first published in 1966, was revised in 1990. One of the great influences on Fabergé’s work was Johann Christian Neuber (1736-1808), court goldsmith at Dresden, and two examples of his work are included in Nicholas Snowman’s gift.



Original wooden case made for the cigarette case.
Summary
Carl Fabergé is famous for the quality of the enamelled and jewelled objects which were made by his firm in the last decades of the Russian Tsars. The firm was founded by his father in St Petersburg in 1842. Carl was educated in St Petersburg before joining his father who had moved to Dresden in 1860. He studied in Dresden, was apprenticed to the jeweller Friedman in Frankfurt, and travelled to Florence, Paris and London. He entered his father’s firm in St Petersburg in 1865 and took over the business in 1872. He was appointed Jeweller to His Majesty in 1885, the year in he won a gold medal for jewellery in the archaeological style at the Nuremberg Fine Art Exhibition. In 1900 he won a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition. From 1903 the firm had offices in London and from 1911 a shop with a smart frontage at 173 New Bond Street. The London branch closed in 1917 and the firm closed in St Petersburg in 1918. Carl Fabergé escaped to Germany. He died in La Rosiaz, Switzerland, in 1920.

Fabergé’s carved hardstone figures and the superb quality of his enamelling influenced even the great French jewellery houses. His cigarette cases, such as the present example, include work of high originality.

Like many 19th-century goldsmiths, Fabergé often found inspiration in earlier styles, including archaeological jewellery, the Baroque court of early 18th-century Dresden, and France in the age of Louis XVI. Sometimes he is indebted to Russian traditions, or to the East. His collection of Japanese netsuke was acquired by the Hermitage Museum in 1918 after the Russian Revolution.

Other Number
LOAN:SNOWMAN.23-2003 - Previous loan number
Collection
Accession Number
M.1:1,2-2017

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record createdApril 15, 2008
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