This is a rare and fascinating container. The cylinder body is a carved, beautiful spinach green jade. It is mounted on the base with an intricate design of a band of laurel leaves and Asian inspired design.
The top of the body is mounted with a silver collar decorated with the same foliate display. The hinged sterling cover is inset with a lovely jade disc carved with land and cloud motifs including a bat in flight. The handle to the cover is a stunning carved carnelian figure of a squirrel.
When the lid is opened, one sees the sterling underside of the cover decorated with a traditional Asian design.
A hinged rod is attached to the cover and a circular disk within the body so when the cover is lifted, the disk is raised to lift the cigarettes - an ingenious and elaborate presentation.
This rare container is marked underneath with the mark used by Eleder-Hickok Company, formerly Lebkuecher & Co. It is also marked 'STERLING/ 04645-34/ YAMANAKA'. It measures 3.25 inches wide by 6.25 inches high and is in excellent antique condition with the interior retaining the original gilding.
Yamanaka & Co. was a famous exporter and retailer of Asian goods with offices in Yokohama, New York City, Boston and London. They ran auctions and retail stores. This piece would have been a collaborative effort between Yamanaka, who imported the Asian hard stones, Eleder-Hickok who mounted them and formed them into the cigarette box and then Yamanaka who sold it.