PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT VIENNESE COLLECTOR
Christie's Geneva, 17 November 1981, lot 163
The early summer of 1915 witnessed a number of key events. One was the foundation of the War Industries Committee which, while ostentatiously in support of the increasingly desperate war effort, was chaired by the Octoberist A.I. Glouchkov and began to undermine the government's control over economic planning. Furthermore, in the same month that this cigarette case was presented, the Imperial Army began a humiliating withdrawal from the front line, known as the 'Great Retreat'.
The original transmission letter survives and is included with the lot: 'Certificate/ Given to British National / Hans-Falk Dessen / To certify that he has been graciously granted a gold cigarette case bearing the Imperial Emblem, decorated with precious stones, from the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty. / [St Petersburg, crossed out] Petrograd, 19 June 1915 / Manager of the cameral cabinet of His Imperial Majesty [signed] Chicherin / Assistant to the manager of the cameral cabinet [signed illegibly]'.
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