A watercolour drawing of this case appears in Henrik Wigström’s surviving design books. Wigström was chief workmaster of Fabergé’s St Petersburg workshop from 1903.
The manager of Faberge’s London branch Charles Henry Bainbridge recommended to his customers that when it came to buying a cigarette case, they should look to acquire the most luxurious example they could afford. As the case would be proffered to friends and acquaintances, perhaps around the dinner table or at parties, it was important that it presented the best possible impression of wealth and cultivation.
This case is a particularly sumptuous example, lavishly decorated with a rich purple enamel, a colour historically associated with the very highest ranks of society. The detailed chased gold decoration and accents of rosecut diamonds further elevate this object to the highest category.