Churchill Collectables: Russian Cigarette Case
By BRIAN KRAPF
Not all wartime Churchilliana was produced within the British Empire. This rare silver cigarette case was made in Russia. While the engraved images of the Big Three are nicely done, note the crude Cyrillic spellings of their names. Measuring 6 x 3, the case’s hinged lid opens to the left, revealing an inside compartment for storing a dozen cigarettes. The back of the case features the flags of the US, UK, and Russia. The piece was made between 1943 and 1945.
Interestingly, the Russians produced a modest amount of wartime propaganda, including posters, traditional lacquered boxes with war motifs, posters, and badges. In commemoration of V-E Day, they also produced textiles. Given their scarcity within the marketplace, wartime Russian patriotic items are highly sought and typically are the subject of competitive bidding amongst serious collectors.
Brian Krapf formerly served as President of the American Political Items Collectors, which is devoted to the preservation and study of America’s political heritage. He has been honored with APIC’s highest award: induction into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Items from the Krapf collection have been featured in History Channel documentaries and also in major print media publications. He has also served as a national advisor to eBay in the areas of security and fraud detection, and he designed eBay’s current political memorabilia listing categories.