Friday, October 17, 2008

A Russian Cigarette Box

Russian cigarette box enameled and gold plated
The Communist Revolution of 1917 in Russia brought many immigrants to Istanbul just like Paris and Vienna, the popular spots of the time. Some settled permanently and started a new life, some moved on to other destinations using Istanbul as a transit point. The ensuing dramas and happy endings are still waiting to be told but it generally is difficult to be an immigrant. My grand uncle's son married one of them, Tamara (it is also worth noting that two women by the same name - the second one is Georgian - had an important influence in our family); but her story will have to wait.

Apart from memories, they left countless items and memorabilia, not necessarily valuable but always sentimental. I can picture the owner of this enameled, low carat gold plated cigarette box of 1917 smoking and dreaming home with each puff, gazing the waters of the Bosporus, her eyes out of focus.

Estimated value: $ 275

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