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Silver Cigarette Cases

Smokers and non smokers alike collect cigarette cases, as they make for interesting conversation pieces that reflect the Western world's age-old fascination with tobacco and the culture that it has spawned. Now most often found at auction, cigarette cases were once sold throughout America in drug stores and mail order catalogs and carried by fashionable circles and members of royalty, such as Princess Margaret.

Cigarette cases are associated with a bygone era of elegance personified by the films of Marlene Dietrich and Humphrey Bogart. While the health hazards of smoking have been revealed and greatly documented in the years since, the cigarette case remains an iconic curio. In recent years, cigarette cases have undergone a resurgence in popularity due to their elegant appearance and the fact that European lawmakers now require manufacturers to place unsightly health warnings on the sides of cigarette packs.

Cigarette cases fluctuate greatly in value. The most expensive are antique cases made for the Tsar of Russia in the late 19th century, which can fetch many thousands of dollars. English Art Nouveau style cases are also highly sought after and typically command several hundred dollars apiece.

Quick Facts

  • In March 2015, Skinner Auctioneers sold an 18k cigarette case for more than $6,000
  • In 1927, Sears and Roebuck sold a gift set consisting of a cigarette case and a matchbox for $2.75
  • In 2008, Christie's sold a gold and ruby cigarette case manufactured by Cartier for more than $2,000

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