The Joys of Smoking

Lets take a moment here to examine smoking in the Rosenbach collections! The inspiration for this course of study is greatly inspired by the recent publication of The Joys of Smoking by author James Fitzgerald (who is also my father).
The Rosenbach brothers were smokers, their generation was the “smoking generation” when cigarettes became king in America. The personal affects of the brothers are riddled with smoking paraphernalia: cigarette cases, pipe cleaners, cigar holders, ashtrays, all gold encrusted monogrammed and silver rimmed. Philip Rosenbach’s personal grooming kit includes equipment for maintaining tobacco pipes and trimming cigars. Smoking was an extension of ones personality as much as a properly pressed suit or presentable business card. In this intimate photograph of Marlene Dietrich taken by Mercedes de Acosta it is hard to tell where the cigarette ends and the woman begins!

Among the cases, holders, trimmers and trays lays one outstanding object, the cigarette case of the Austrian-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Though the date of his birth1863 bears much less weight historically then the date of his death it is interesting to note that Philip Rosenbach was born the same year.
Franz Ferdinand’s assassination on June 28, 1914 sparked the First World War. While riding in the motorcade through the streets of Sarajevo on Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were shot and killed by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian member of the Black Hand; earlier in the day Ferdinand’s car had also been fired at by a hand grenade, causing him to complain angrily upon his arrival at the city hall.

“What is the good of your speeches? I come to Sarajevo on a visit, and I get bombs thrown at me. It is outrageous!” Archduke Franz Ferdinand interrupting the Mayor’s welcome speech at Sarajevo’s city hall, 28 June 1914.

The F.F.’s cigarette case details are:

A tan leather case with a silver crest on the front and an embossed gold signature on the reverse. The crest features a shield, parti per pale, with griffon sejant sinister and three eagles in bend dexter. The shield is surmounted by a coronet and surrounded by a chain. The signature on the reverse is very ornate and illegible; it may read, in part, ”Franz”. The interior of the case is divided into two pockets, one with a flap and one without. Both are lined with burgundy moire silk.

One thought on “The Joys of Smoking

  1. Nice post. I have been a slave for fags (cigs) for almost 20 years of my life. I love my son (he’s almost 6)so much that I miss him even on my journey to work. I truly hope that he will never, ever, lay his eyes on your blog. I truly hope that he will never pick up this filthy practice that is smoking.

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