A fabulous and rare reticulated 'Samorodok' silver cigarette case. Made in the London workshops of Cartier, the case features applied dots of yellow gold and a cabochon-cut sapphire to mark the side that opens. Hallmarked London, 1954.
Dimensions: 10 cm/3⅞ inches (width) x 8 cm/3⅛ inches (depth) x 1.75 cm/¾ inch (thick).
The capabilities of Cartier London were extensive. The London branch trained English jewellers and watchmakers in the Cartier style, letting them work more independently. This would lead to some of the most unique designs that Cartier would produce. Whilst carrying the Parisian jeweller’s name, the branch had a high level of independence. The New Bond Street Cartier was arguably the most daring, adventurous and creative of all the Paris, New York and London branches.
Samorodok is a Russian word meaning 'metal in its natural state'. This method of working silver was made most famous in Russia, by Fabergé. It is achieved by heating the silver to a temperature just below it's melting point, then cooling it abruptly in water. The resulting finish resembles that of silver ore. It is a very difficult technique to master.