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.
Materials: Papier-mache, leather, lacquer
Measurements: 5 1/8" x 2 7/8"
This item is over 180 years old and has seen a lot of love! Unfortunately, it has lost its cheroot holding insert at some point. There are superficial marks and scratches on the front of the case and a consistent crackling pattern throughout the paper. There are two edges on the back that are completely cracked and worn away revealing the inner materials. The leather sides are very worn, cracked and even missing large pieces. Though it may not be as useful as it once was, it still would make a lovely addition as an objet d’art in any cabinet of curiosities.
Cleaning and Care
Gently wipe with a soft, dry microfiber cloth, if necessary. Keep away from moisture.