Of Machinist design, the rectangular-shaped case embellished with a row of sugarloaf sapphires to the lid, circa 1940, signed Van Cleef & Arpels and numbered 41143, French assay marks for gold, maker's mark for Strauss Allard et Meyer. Length: 6cm, width 3cm. Weight: 55 grams
Note: The word “strong” is often used to describe a design and it feels particularly apt here as you can’t help but think of heavy machinery or military tanks when looking at this lighter, even down to the parallel tread marks following its shape. This is of course almost certainly not an accident and the machinist inspiration in jewellery at this time was palpable - we still refer to the many variations of heavy industrial-looking gold link bracelets from the 1940s as ‘tank’ bracelets...even the sapphires, cut in a way to avoid the flashes of facets in favour of a more subtle presence as angular cabochons is a carefully considered touch. All this makes its purpose rather secondary, it is above all a beautiful object.