The fact that nobody smokes anymore should not be a reason why not to collect these extremely delicate pieces of art. It was in the beginning of the Twentieth Century, when smoking became a fashionable social act, that jewellers took on the challenge of designing beautiful cases that would displayed by their owners at every society gathering. Today, they can be used as extremely sophisticated business card holders!.
The one above, set in blue enamel with mille-grain set sapphires and diamonds was made by Van Cleef and Arpels in the 1920s. The three below are all signed by Cartier between 1913 and 1950. They will be auctioned by Sotheby's London on July 13th.