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Cigarette Case - The Art of War Initiative

Cigarette Case

T

he silver cigarette case exhibited here was a gift from Khmer in 1975. Production of cigarette cases began in the late nineteenth century peaking in the mid-twentieth century when smoking became part of the culture of fashion. Cigarette cases are constructed to be sturdy, portable, and compact containers to hold and protect several cigarettes. Characteristic to the design are two hinges along an outside seam and a compartment with a spring or elastic strap that would hold cigarettes in place while transported. Cigarette cases are made for their functionality and for display use. Cases designed for stationary display are made in a larger size and are typically adorned with ornament.

The Khmer cigarette case boasts a silver plated exterior with a smooth inlaid wooden interior. The exterior of the case is adorned with an organic floral ornament along the sides. In the center of the eight small squares that decorate the lid of the case reside a single figure encased in ornament. The decorative embellishments of the cigarette case provide a rich texture. This case is too large to be carried comfortably in a pocket, so its function was for display and communal use.

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Gifting Country: Khmer
Year Given: 1975 (January 1)
Medium: Plated silver, wood
Credit Line: Gifted to Maj. Gen. Cushman from Brig. Gen. Un Kauv

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