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Learn about and understand the items, manufacturers, designers and periods as well as the specialist terms used in describing antiques and collectables. Either click one of the letters below to list the items beginning with that letter, or click on a category on the left side of the screen to list the items under that category.
Pocket cigarette cases evolved from the leather containers for cigars which first became popular in the mid-nineteenth century. As cigarette smoking gradually overtook cigar smoking, pocket cigarette cases in leather or papier mache often decorated with floral motifs or geometric patterns became popular.
After 1900, however, pocket cigarette cases of an all-metal construction came into fashion.
The metal pocket cigarette cases were most frequently made of silver and gold, and plated versions of these metals, and offered greater scope to the designers and craftsmen and soon enamelling, filigree work, guilloche engraving and other decorative techniques could be found decorating cigarette cases.
As well as gold and silver, pocket cigarette cases were made in ivory, wood, Lucite, pewter.
A lerger version of the cigarette case evolved to sit on a desk or sideboard. Many of these were silver boxes, lined with timber. A popular form was the miniature AWA radio table cigarette box, in various colours of Bakelite. Others were made of wood and ceramics.