Case, Carl Fabergé, 1913

Gold, enamel and diamonds


of rectangular form, decorated with rich purple enamel set above a wavy guillochage, the lid and base decorated with an indented border with chased laurel leaves and berries with white enamel and diamond set crossovers, the corners punctuated with circular gold rosettes, the outer border differentiated with a scalloped guillochage, the lid centred with a circular gold cartouche with a ring of rose cut diamonds and opaque white enamel, a discreet hinged compartment containing a steel match strike next to scalloped gold tinder pull at one end, the thumbpiece denoted by a row of diamonds.

Chief Workmaster: Henrik Wigström
St Petersburg, 1908-1917
72 Zolotnik
Inventory No.: 24892
English import marks for London, 1913

Length:10cm, Width:6.8cm, Depth:1.5cm


A noble English collection.

Purple Case Wigstrom Highlight

A watercolour drawing of this case appears in Henrik Wigström’s surviving design books. Wigström was chief workmaster of Fabergé’s St Petersburg workshop from 1903.

The manager of Faberge’s London branch Charles Henry Bainbridge recommended to his customers that when it came to buying a cigarette case, they should look to acquire the most luxurious example they could afford. As the case would be proffered to friends and acquaintances, perhaps around the dinner table or at parties, it was important that it presented the best possible impression of wealth and cultivation.

This case is a particularly sumptuous example, lavishly decorated with a rich purple enamel, a colour historically associated with the very highest ranks of society. The detailed chased gold decoration and accents of rosecut diamonds further elevate this object to the highest category.