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Empress Augusta of Germany Presentation Cigarette Case, 1900
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Empress Augusta of Germany Presentation Cigarette Case, 1900

Measurements: 9.3cm (3.6in) x 7cm (2.75in)

£2400

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Russian style silver combination vesta and cigarette case, the hinged cover with thumbpeice set with a gold mounted blue cabochon, and applied with the crowned AV cypher of Empress Augusta Victoria (reigned 1902-1911) in gold set with sapphires and diamonds, hinged lid to the vesta compartment and match strike at one end, the other fitted with tinder cord, the cigarette compartment with gilt interior. Maker’s mark of Georg Adam Scheid of Vienna. Hallmarked ‘900’. Contained in a modern fitted case.

Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (1858-1921), last German Empress and Queen of Prussia was the eldest daughter of Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Augusta married her second cousin Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (later Kaiser Wilhelm II) in 1881. Otto von Bismarck was a strong proponent of the marriage, believing that it would end the dispute between the Prussian government and the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. Augusta had a difficult relationship with her mother-in-law, Victoria, (eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain). However Augusta grew closer to her mother-in-law 1when Wilhelm became Emperor. Augusta was often lonely while he was away on military exercises and she turned to her mother-in-law for the companionship of rank, although she never left her children alone with her lest they be influenced by her well-known liberalism. Augusta also had less than cordial relationships with some of Wilhelm's sisters, particularly the recently married Crown Princess Sophie of Greece. In 1890, when Sophie announced her intention to convert to Greek Orthodoxy, Augusta told her that if she did so, not only would Wilhelm find it unacceptable as the head of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia's older Provinces, but she would be barred from Germany and her soul would end up in Hell. Sophie replied that it was her business whether or not she did. Augusta became hysterical and gave birth prematurely to her son, Prince Joachim, as a result of which she was overprotective of him for the rest of his life. Evidently, so did Wilhelm; he wrote to his mother that if the baby died, Sophie would have murdered it. In 1920, the shock of exile and abdication, combined with the breakdown of Joachim's marriage and his subsequent suicide, proved too much for Augusta's health. She died in 1921, in House Doorn at Doorn in the Netherlands.
 

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