RARE antique cigar case from mid-1800s France, this one has 2 cast panels of wonderful old Gutta Percha. I've never seen a cigar case in this material until this one. Not even in museum collections. I can't estimate how rare it is, but I've been doing this business for decades and have had lots of other gutta percha items from this era. They used this very early castable material to make early photo cases (union cases) for early photographic images; hand mirrors, photo frames, even cases for barometers, and desk sets with inkwells among the more plentiful remainders of this interesting precursor to later moldable plastics. French invention, I have never found the exact recipe for it, but one source says it was a combination of super-fine sawdust, blood proteins, milk proteins. It has no odor at all, and was developed to mimic fine carved wood objects which were very expensive to produce. The two panels on this 6" long cigar case are each in fine condition throughout. A wonderful one for any collector.
Very good to excellent for age and type. The interior is silk and leather, very supple but with light stain as you can see in our images. The gutta percha is black in color with a little rub to the bas relief body of the crane on the one side. The sides are each different, one in the Japonaise or chinoiserie, Asian style popular in the Napoleon III era, and the other a bit of a throwback to earlier aesthetic with very French motif of musical instruments and rocaille framework we see more in the era of the Louis Kings. Hinges and clasp working just fine, you'll want to use this one. The leather baffles are also in very nice condition. Holds 3 cigars on each side. Vest pocket case extraordinaire.
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