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During the first half of the 19th century, a new fad was on the rise among aristocratic men throughout the United States and Europe -- smoking cheroots.
Originating in India and Burma, cheroots are small, cylindrical cigars clipped on both ends. This newly discovered tobacco temptress rapidly overtook snuff in popularity, however its reign was brief thanks to the advent of cigarettes in the 1850s.
Much like the sumptuous snuff containers of the 18th century, it didn't take long before gentlemen began searching for some sort of objet d'art to safely carry their treasured cigars, which brings us to this mini masterpiece.
This hauntingly beautiful hand-painted case is constructed of two heavily lacquered papier-mâché panels that are joined together on each side by a piece of leather. It features a highly detailed portrait of a woman in a green gown holding a closed fan over her heart, which relays the secret message, "You have won my love."
Originally, this case would have contained a leather insert that would have housed the cigars. Unfortunately, that has been lost at some point.
These mini works of art were only manufactured between 1810 and 1850, making them incredibly rare and collectible.
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