Posted 10 years ago
I am still trying to figure out exactly when and where I bought this cigarette case. I know for sure it was over twenty five years ago. I remember showing it to a Russian woman who had a dry-cleaning business nearby for her opinion. She was not really impressed because it was not Fabergé. In those days anything Russian was not esteemed here at all.
But what had appealed to me was the engraved Cyrillic letter on the front of the case. I believe it is an old Cyrillic "I". Actually I am relying on my memory here. I've been searching recently for a list of Russian engraved letters on the net, but to no avail. If anyone can help me here I would appreciate your input.
I have another query and that is about the hallmarks on the inside of the case. there are two marks on inside of each lid. One is the maker's mark: two Cyrillic letters 'GS' . I know now that those are the marks of Grigory Sbetnayev, Moscow from 1893.
The other marks is in an elongated oval and here is the problem: the right hand edge of the mark has been deliberately ground by a tool. It looks like it was done by a professional hand, not just a rough and crude gouge.
This strikes me as strange.
What is left to one side is the part face of the Kokoshnik mark and a tiny Greek Delta (?).
It was only today that I noticed the Delta. Thanks to this great site, I know that the Delta refers to an assay office. In this case it is Moscow.
"In 1908 was introduced a new mark with a more detailed female head facing right and silver fineness expressed in zolotnicki inside an oval oblong cartouche. The left side was inscribed with the town/region symbol."
But why obliterate the Kokoshnik mark and the number indicating the fineness of the silver? As well the gilding, the gold wash has been placed over the obliterated marks. Is it a post Revolution piece?
I know now that the case must be after 1908 when the second version of the Kokoshnik mark was introduced. It should be also be earlier than 1926 when the Imperial mark was no longer used.
I like the cabochon ruby inserted into the opening mechanism as well. The original bands are there as well although one is no loner attached as shown.