Cigarette and match cases

Object Number: 
1975.34ab
Date: 
ca. 1932
Medium: 
Platinum
Dimensions: 
Case (cigarette case): 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 1/4 in. (12.1 x 8.9 x 0.6 cm) Case (match case): 2 3/8 x 1 5/8 x 3/8 in. (6 x 4.
Marks: 
engraved: center of the interiors: the Von Kienbusch family arms, shield with a vert fess across the center between nine pierced mullets, two in chief and four over three in base, shield surmounted by an armor helmet and a man in Colonial dress with a gun
Description: 
Platinum cigarette and match cases; cast, flat, rectangular cigarette case with a triangular, spring loaded button at the top to open and a hinge across the opposite end; recessed rectangles in each side of the interior; spring-loaded geometric arm attached to the hinge, to hold cigarettes in place, across one side of the body; opposite side engraved with the Von Kienbusch family arms, shield with a vert fess across the center between nine pierced mullets, two in chief and four over three in base, shield surmounted by an armor helmet and a man in Colonial dress with a gun in bend behind, shield surrounded by foliate scrolls; makers' marks stamped on the button; rectangular match case with a rounded base; hinge divides the base in half; spring-loaded oval button in the top center opens the case; interior center engraved with the Von Kienbusch family arms; makers' marks stamped on the button mechanism.
Gallery Label: 
Platinum jewelry and men's accessories gained favor around 1890 and reached a height of popularity during the 1920s and 1930s. This sleek cigarette and matchbook case set, which reflects the influence of American modernist design, was presented to Carl Otto von Kienbusch by his wife, Mildred Clarke Pressinger. The gift may have marked the couple's twentieth anniversary in 1932, as platinum is the time-honored material for this celebration. Smoking accessories were popular presents for men during the 1920s and 1930s, when cigarette smoking signaled sophistication and glamour, and the adverse health effects of tobacco were still largely unknown. Mrs. Kienbusch's gift of a cigarette case was also a fitting choice for her husband, a tobacco merchant whose family made its fortune in the tobacco leaf business. Perhaps to underscore the association, Mrs. Kienbusch had the family coat of arms engraved inside the lids of both cases.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Dr. Robert Hershey
Provenance: 
Presented by Mrs. Carl Otto von Kienbusch (Mildred Clarke Pressinger, 1887-1968) to Carl Otto von Kienbusch (1884-1976); to Robert D. Hershey (1909-1993), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group