Art Deco Austrian Alpacca 'Silver' Enamel Pre-Raphaelite Erotic Cigarette Case (Code 2389)
A wonderful early 20th century Austrian cigarette case. Beautiful hand enamelled portrait of a Pre-Raphaelite inspired girl with breasts exposed. She is set in an autumnal scene with bunches of ripe grapes on the vine. Great use of colour to make the subject stand out and a lovely flow to the work.
The case is of heavy construction and also quite substantial in size. The case is of clam-shell form with a press button opening (also needs to be pressed to allow closure) and a 3/4 length hinge opposing.
The rim of the case is marked Ramco Alpacca. Alpacca is a silver simulant originally created in China and called Paktong, later perfected by Berndorf, the Austro-Hungarian metal corporation during the early 19th century and trademarked Alpacca. It is a form of nickel silver and has a very similar visual appearance although is a little cooler in tone than Sterling. Although not a precious metal it is not commonly found and cases such as this are far more numerous in real silver than Alpacca. It is likely Ramco is the maker, or commissioning agent/retailer. The style suggests the case is very likely Austrian and the painting combines the Pre-Raphaelite with the Deco and would date around 1920.
Normal period wear with light scratches to the metal. Some surface scratching to the image which can be seen when angled in the right light. Very slight indents to the reverse. Hinge and catch good, press button still very strong. Some wear to interior gilt.
Width: 8 cm ( 3 1/8 inch )
Height: 9.2 cm ( 3 5/8 inch )
Weight: 128 grams (before packing)
Stock Code: 2389 DC20-1
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