A GOLD-MOUNTED BLUED-STEEL CIGARETTE-CASE
by Alfred Thielemann
St. Petersburg, circa 1890. Rectangular of oval outline, the hinged cover and match- compartment mounted in gold borders (hinge repaired), the cover applied with a chased goldfish, with gold thumb- piece, (the blued steel finish worn).
"One of Faberg6's favorite base metals was blued steel, which is extremely effective when used in conjunction with gold. As well as making cigarette-cases with it, Faberge used the gleaming effect of blued steel in imperial Easter Eggs: the Romanov Tercentenary Egg of 1913 and the Egg of 1916". (G. von Habsburg & A. von Solodkoff, Faberge, London, 1979, p. 63.) This cigarette-case typifies Faberge's attitude to the use of materials; he was far more interested in the decorative quality rather than in the commercial value of a work of art.