The rectangular-shaped silver case applied to the front with a silhouetted scene in red, beige, cream and pale olive-coloured lacquer depicting a hunter with his rifle on his back, walking over rolling hills with three hounds, against a cloudy sky, between dark blue borders, the reverse of the case applied with blue lacquer and black enamel, opening to reveal a black enamelled interior and pierced cigarette clip, circa 1940, numbered 4211, French assay mark for silver, maker's mark fro Jean Trotain. Length: 12.8cm, width: 8.3cm. Engraved '1941 Premio "Corona" ', 'Corona Hnos', and 'Pigeon Club de Mar del Plata'
Note: Invariably, whomever designed them, the great Modernist cigarette cases were made by one of two Parisian workshops - Jean Trotain or Strauss Allard et Meyer.. This one is one of the more charming examples, depicting a hunter and his three hounds silhouetted against a cloudy sky. It feels blustery somehow and solitary hilltop walk buffeted by the wind with a hound is pretty high up on the list of life's pleasures making this a very happy little box. Sporting scenes, like the Polo players case in our collection also by Jean Trotain retailed by Black Starr & Frost, were popular subjects for the Modernists and Futurists in general, but this is unusually stylised in an endearing almost cartoonish manner.
The subject matter helps explain how this box found its way to Argentina, it is engraved with the date 1941 and 'Premio "Corona"' or first prize, by The Pigeon Club of Mar del Plata in Argentina...The club itself seemed an exotic pastiche of English aristocratic living where the men shot pigeons over the water whilst their wives had afternoon tea on the veranda. The unusual building survives to this day in Mar del Plata - A coastal town that benefitted from the increase in tourism from affluent and international Buenos Aires in the 1930s-1950s and was known as the Biarritz of Argentina due to its European-styled chalet-like architecture.