Antique Russian Cigarette Case

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
DBinSV
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Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby DBinSV » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:52 pm

An experienced member of the antiquers.com forum who is apparently familiar with this forum urged me to post here regarding a cigarette case that belonged to my maternal grandfather in Russia.

One member of the antiquers.com forum had an opinion with which another member disagreed. I will only relay that opinion if asked.

Any information would be most appreciated.

There are two sets of marks (one on each side of the upper inside “lip” of the case), so following my best understanding of the posted guidelines, I will include the URL to one full photo of the case (front view) and one close-up photo of each set of marks. Additional photos are available, though the ones to which I am linking are the clearest ones I could get of the marks.

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Qrt.S
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Qrt.S » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:16 am

The most important photo with the marks is out of focus. A sharp close-up of the enamel work would also be appreciated. In addition it is a bit unclear what are the initials on the maker's mark. I believe them to be AK, but can you verify that, thank you? Anyway, the hallmark with Riding St. George tells us Moscow 1882-1898. The maker could be Antip Kutzmichev, but kindly verify the maker's initials and we will know more... The fineness is 88 zolotniki, in promille 916,67/1000. The marking seems to be correct. There should be marks on every detachable part (both halves). Difficult to say more in these circumstances until we have better pictures.

Goldstein
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Goldstein » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:57 am

Hi DBinSV -

Kuzmichev, Antip Ivanovich -starting in 1856. Mark: initials or name written out in full (3 different marks!). Worked in Cloisonné enamel, Plique-á-jour and Samorodok. His work and the details were outstanding - as well as the colours and the composition.
The shown cigarette case is of simple, crude design - the abundant turquoise enamel is among other things a give away. The marking is on the wrong places and as usual unclear. I would like to see a photo of the inside! In my opinion a fake!

Here some original marks:

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Regards
Goldstein

AG2012
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby AG2012 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:41 am

Hi,
As suggested above show us sharp marks and the inside of the case.
Marks are supposed to be on both halves and struck before enameling for obvious reason.
How`s the application (years) fixed ? Is it riveted ?
Discrepancies: suspicious marks on the `lip`` ,rather average quality and ``88`` standard.
On the other hand, is the provenance reliable ?
Eager to see how the issue develops.
Thank you for additional info.
Regards

Goldstein
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Goldstein » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:38 am

Hi DBinSV -

for a better understanding some examples:

Unimaginative fakes - all in the same style

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Original objects from Kuzmichev - the difference in quality and the artistic performance are immediately recognizable

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Regards
Goldstein

DBinSV
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:43 pm

Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby DBinSV » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:50 am

AG2012 wrote:Hi,
As suggested above show us sharp marks and the inside of the case.
Marks are supposed to be on both halves and struck before enameling for obvious reason.
How`s the application (years) fixed ? Is it riveted ?
Discrepancies: suspicious marks on the `lip`` ,rather average quality and ``88`` standard.
On the other hand, is the provenance reliable ?
Eager to see how the issue develops.
Thank you for additional info.
Regards


Thank you, everyone who has responded, for your valuable time and expertise, which are most appreciated.

In response to the question about provenance, this case was carried out of Russia in 1916 by my maternal grandparents and has been in the family ever since.

At this time, I am preparing to pass this and some other family keepsakes along to my niece and nephew. I thought it might be interesting to them and future generations if the collection included some notes about the individual pieces, beyond simply who owned them and how they were used.

If fakes of such an item were being made around 1900, then I suppose it is entirely possible that this is such a fake.

The marks appear on opposing sides of the tops of the two “lips.” I am providing links to a photo to try to illustrate this. I am also providing links to a photo of the interior and back of the case, as requested.

In response to the question about the commemorative date on the front of the case, I believe the interior view image shows the six rivets (if that’s the correct term) that are holding that piece into place. The “nib” (protruding piece) of the rivet closest to the bottom edge is missing, though the hole for it is there.

In response to the question about the photos of the marks, I did the best I could with my existing camera and do apologize for any inconvenience. The reality is that the marks are rather indistinct, not at all like the samples posted in this thread. So perhaps the piece indeed is not genuine.

Thank you again for your time.

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Qrt.S
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Location: Helsinki Finland

Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Qrt.S » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:45 pm

Thank you for the new pictures and don't hang up on the marks showed by Goldstein. They are from before 1882 while while your marks are implemented as from 1882 to 1898 as I already explained. All marks should be inside the case on both halves as they are but they are on the rim that is a bit uncommon. The application seems to be riveted , which is typical for Russian objects. What bothers me now is indeed the fineness. Usually this fineness of 88 zolotniki was used more seldom and on high quality objects. As AG2012 also mentioned the case is of "average standard" and therefore a bit "suspicious" it being made in 88 zolotniki.
Conclusion :You need to have in your hands for a closer look. Moreover, I would be interested in hearing "the other opinion" what it is and based on what. Thank you in advance. As it is for now it is a 50/50 case. But that is only my opinion.

blakstone
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby blakstone » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:10 pm

Just an observation that the attached date appears to be a 25th anniversary commemoration: 1882 - 21/V - 1907. (That is, 21 May 1882 - 1907). Logic dictates, then, that it would have been made in 1907 and, if so, then the 1882/98 marks cannot be right; why make a commemorative case 9 to 25 years before the event occurs?

I suppose the applied inscription could have been added later, perhaps replacing and earlier one, but I would think there would be some evidence of this on the case itself. Is there? Also, does the date 21 May 1882 have any significance to the provenance - a wedding date perhaps?

I concur - something here is amiss.

Goldstein
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Goldstein » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:22 pm

Hi DBinSV -

Qrt.S wrote:Thank you for the new pictures and don't hang up on the marks showed by Goldstein. They are from before 1882 while while your marks are implemented as from 1882 to 1898 as I already explained.

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Pure nonsense! There is a Preview button - Qrt.S - you should use it more often...

Family history and its traditional narratives are always to be treated with caution! Especially when the facts give a completely different interpretation.
1) A 102-year-old cigarette case looks different - even when packaged in a safe the entire time.
2) An Enamel cloisonné cigarette case by Kuzmichev looks totally different and has an outstanding quality. I have shown some examples of his work - the match is zero! I am sorry but I can give you no better answers.

Regards
Goldstein

Qrt.S
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Qrt.S » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:30 pm

Rigth, sorry Goldstein, didn't notice the notches.

Aguest
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Aguest » Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:53 pm

Recently I found a fork by Antip Kuzmichev, and I began to study the examples with the "flower" designs on them, and I found a few examples where the "petals" were not made of separate circles of wires with enamel filled in; rather they looked more like this:

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The quality of this particular fork is good, and the enamel is applied to both sides, which I believe is why the higher standard was used:

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Still the question: "When did non-authentic Russian silver objects begin to show up?" I wonder this too, because my friend has a set of Khlebnikov cups which she is sure has been in her family for over 50 years, and still the hallmarks are dubious, so I was wondering this same question.

Aguest
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Aguest » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:12 am

Sorry I didn't start a new thread for this fork, but I just thought it made more sense to have one thread with several Antip Kuzmichev (probably) objects:

The reason I bought this fork is because it does not look brand new, and I remember reading Goldstein who wrote that the Russians almost always used their flatware, so very few pieces have survived in mint condition (although it does rarely happen to see a piece of authentic flatware in mint condition), and the enamel is worn on this piece, the colors seem faded in a few places, and one tine is bent, but I look at these condition issues as a positive sign and not a negative sign___

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I felt confident enough to buy it, but only after reading many threads and looking at many other objects___

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Goldstein
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Goldstein » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:22 am

Hi Aguest -

Russian silver has become a dangerous tretmine! If you do not know the original manufacturing process exactly, you are at the mercy of the counterfeiters. That is why it is important to deal with the matter in detail before buying! Without a forger seminar to organize - here are some tips: There are, for example, enamel clausonné and enamel champlevé. You should know how it is made! The counterfeiters use a mixture of both = easier and cheaper - but looks real for the layman. Some examples:
Authentic different enamel:
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Different fake enamel:
On your spoon the enamel is not part of the spoon - it is "put on".

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Same with sugar tongs:

Authentic (correct)

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Fakes ("put on")

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So they can use a plane original and upgrade it to enamel. A new "famous" mark and the naive customer is thrilled!

There would be much more to say - but here is the wrong place!
And the often heared argument: ....but the nice enamel, such a lot of work etc. - Indian and Chinese "artists" are smiling....

Regards
Goldstein

Aguest
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Aguest » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:13 am

It has proved very difficult, but I will keep trying, and to have all these images and descriptions listed side-by-side can only help future buying...

Goldstein
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Goldstein » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:23 am

Hi Aguest -

do not be frustrated - we all make (made) mistakes sometimes. You always learn from that.
If you are uncertain - ask the forum BEFORE you buy! Do not be greedy! Think....
You can ask me every day.

Regards
Goldstein

DBinSV
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby DBinSV » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:38 am

May I ask you this, please: Is it possible that "fakes" of these cases being created in the late 1800s? If not, what would you estimate to be the earliest year or range of years that such a "fake" piece would have been created?

Goldstein
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Goldstein » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:33 pm

Hi DBinSV -

If you really want to know when this fake was made: execute a DNA analysis of the used silver. I would say within the last 10 years. Apart from numerous Fabergé fakes after the revolution (Hammer Brothers et Co) - the production of fakes began after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the sales success of Russian silver. First in Poland, then Vietnam, now India and China.
You must ask your family where this cigarette case really come from - and when.
Get more assessments from certified experts - I'm just a collector!

Regards
Goldstein

Goldstein
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Re: Antique Russian Cigarette Case

Postby Goldstein » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:37 pm

Hi Aguest -

a quick check of the notorious sites on internet:

your spoon

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and one from the same "family" with altered design made by I. Sazikov acc. to the fakemarks - same sloppy open ends!

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Regards
Goldstein


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