Oversize Benson and Hedges Silver-gilt cigarette box
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An extraordinary silver box by Karel Bartosik, hallmarked London 1986. The box is a detailed scaled up replica of a packet of 10 cigarettes engraved and embossed with the Benson and Hedges logos and typography of the time. The exterior of the box is a matt, satin finish to replicate the original packet and the interior is highly polished. There is an ingenious hinged cradle in the top of the lid that takes cigarettes and rises automatically when this lid is lifted. This leaves a large storage compartment in the main body of the box.
At the time of the box’s creation B&H were at the height of their fame driven by a subliminal advertising campaign by Collett Dickenson Pearce under the leadership of Colin Millward, a man that Charles Saatchi dubbed “an advertising genius”. The golden packet has become an icon of Eighties design.
Karel Bartosik is a renowned and respected jeweller and miniaturist whose works are represented in the silver galleries of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and in private collections. A silver figural lighter and a silver and gold miniature suitcase are exhibited in the Jewellery Rooms 91 to 93 of The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery of the V&A.
Bartosik was born in England but his parents were of Dutch and Czech origin. Between 1946 -1967 he lived in Czechoslovakia and worked initially for a costume jewellery manufacturer. On his return to England he joined the workshop of renowned jeweller Andrew Grima in London, where he stayed for several years. Later he became a technician at the Royal College of Art in the Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery Department (1991-2007). (Source: V&A Catalogue)
Dimensions: 9.5cm / 3 3/4” x 19cm / 7 1/2” x 4cm / 1 1/2”