Silver Cigarette Case

Russian Silver Cigarette Case by Alexander Karpov



Material: silver, gilt silver, gold, sapphire cabochon

Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 1.5 cm

Weight: 200 g

Origin: Russia, St. Petersburg

Maker: Alexander Karpov

Period: 1908 - 1917

Price: € 2000.00


   The cigarette case made in silver is cast with a reeded sunburst pattern covering all sides of the artefact. It has gold thumb-piece inset with cabochon sapphire. The interior of the case is gold-plated.

   The case has very interesting set of hallmarks. On the bottom of the interior the case is stamped with Kokoshnik mark* in a form of an oval cartouche with woman’s profile facing right. On her right side is silver standard number 84 and on her left side is Greek letter α (alpha) indicating the assay office in St. Petersburg. This form of Kokoshnik mark was in use in the period from 1908 – 1926. Maker’s initials Cyrillic letters AK refer to Alexander Karpov, active in St. Petersburg from 1898 – 1917. The third mark on the bottom is the hallmark for silver used after the Revolution in the period from 1927 – 1953 with assay office mark as Greek letter Δ (capital Delta)  referring to Moscow. This means that the artefact was restamped before it was legally sold to a French buyer (possibly as a part of a larger stock of valuable silver objects) since on the inner part of the lid it is stamped with French import marks. The maker’s initials are stamped on the inner part of the lid too. The thumb-piece is stamped with the Russian Imperial gold hallmark 56 indicating the 14 carat gold.

   The cigarette case of the same maker, Alexander Karpov, but of a different design is included in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art (Ohio).


   All the presented dates are given to the best of our knowledge. For all further information please contact us.



*In 1896 Tsar Nicholas II (1868 – 1918) issued an edict that reformed the older assay marking system and the Kokoshnik mark was introduced. After the transitional changeover period the Kokoshnik mark came into full use at the beginning of the 1899. The female head is rendered wearing the peasant headdress traditionally referred to as a kokoshnik, thus giving the stamp its name. The hallmark had two variants, first used from 1896 – 1908 and the other one from 1908 – 1926.