This gorgeous Burmese (Myanmar) sterling silver cigarette case is from the late 19th- early 20th century and features hand-hammered figural images. The deep embossing, or repoussé, and hand-forming technique used to make this antique give them a surprising dimensionality, and high quality silver works that have been hand-hammered like this one are a rare find.
On one side of the case is a peacock displaying its tail feathers. The peacock is framed by beautiful scrolling foliate. On the back of the case are two people in traditional dress, standing amidst segments of beautiful textured motifs. Each tiny detail was hammered by hand; the attention to detail and labor that went into creating these images is stunning.
Often seen in Burmese art, peacocks were a national symbol of pride and resistance. It was the official symbol of the Konbaung Dynasty, Burma’s last monarch. Burmese kings wore peacock insignias on their robes, and sat on a famous Peacock Throne.
Originally a cigarette case, this could also be used to hold business cards, or as a wallet or catch all. It opens and closes with a secure snap and push button. The case measures 4” x 3” x 1/2” (with the figures rising an addition 1/4” in some places). It weighs 132 grams, or just over 4 troy ounces.