Auction Previews

Cigarette Cases: Russia's Unexpected Treasures

If Decorative Art objects reveal how different people’s lives were in centuries past, few items could be more telling than cigarette cases. With tobacco's mass-production exploding in the 1800s, smoking not only became a social rite but also a stylish one. An elaborate, jewelled cigarette case was an extension of one’s taste and the latest way to accessorise. As smoking’s side effects grew increasingly transparent, the habit lost its glamour; the cases, however, are now highly collectible objets with the allure of nostalgia. From a 42-lot sequence in our Collections sale, we chose fascinating examples from the Estate of Richard A. Jones, a Russophile, collector and Russian-art dealer. –Stephanie Sporn

Collections: Silver, Vertu, Ceramics, and Russian Works of Art

15 April | New York