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Scarab Antiques


Art Deco black enamel white Alpacca metal & gilt cigarette case

I like decorative cigarette cases and this one is very elegant which I suspect because of its size was made for a woman. It is made of white metal that is gilded inside and black enamelled outside with part of the enamel cut away on the front in a geometric pattern to reveal the silver metal underneath. It is hinged down one long side with a white metal bar push opener on the opposite side. It has the elastic cigarette retainer inside and one of the inside rims is stamped "ALPACCA" which would lead me to believe that it was made in Germany.

Approximate dimensions:
Weight: 3.10zs - 89gms
Dimensions: 3.74ins x 2.76ins x 0.2ins - 9.5cms x 7cms x 0.5cms

Alpaca/Alpacca is a type of alloy containing copper, zinc, and nickel along with tin.

The Alpacca alloy was developed in 1823 by the German chemist Dr. Ernst August Geitner (1783-1852). It looked like silver, but was significantly cheaper. Initially the new was called "Argentan" and quickly became very popular. The Gebrueder Henninger (Henninger Bros.) proposed a similar alloy (5-30% nickel, 45-70% copper and 8-45% zinc with trace amounts of lead, tin and iron) which they called "Neusilber". Later both Argentan and Neusilber were used under the trade name of Alpacca (or Alpakka).

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