An historical British presentation heavy sterling silver presentation cigarette case. This fine piece was given by the Nobel Explosives Company – Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and was a pioneer in high explosives development, he also founded the Nobel Prize – to Sir Walter C. Hillier, K.C.M.G. world famous British diplomat, academic, author, Sinologist and Professor of Chinese at King’s College London. Sir Walter held important posts in Asia during the last years of the Chinese Empire and was involved in Asian affairs during the 1911 Chinese revolution and rise of Sun Yat Sen.
During this tumultuous period numbers of railroad building, mining projects, and general construction plans were proposed to help modernize China. These projects in addition to the military situation in China required high explosives and the technological expertise to use them which Nobel’s company could participate in with some help from Sir Walter who had relationships with Chinese officials such as the famous Li Hung Chan.
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This fine sterling silver case, hallmarked for Birmingham, 1912, is in very fine original condition with gold washed interior. Light surface handling marks show that Sire Walter likely carried this piece during the Belle Époque years preceding World War -I.
A fine and most interesting artifact given to a British Peer during a most important period of Anglo-Chinese history.
Dimensions: width 3 3/8″, depth 2 3/4″, weight: 126.9 grams