Art Deco Green Onyx Cigarette Box by Betjemann & Sons probably for Asprey & Co Ltd
A charming and super quality Art Deco green onyx cigarette box by Betjemann & Sons, London probably for Aspreys of London.
With beautifully veined onyx and brass fittings to the lid and base, the box is stamped along the hinge face with “Betjemann’s Patent No 449335, Made in England”.
George Betjemann established his business in the early nineteenth century after his apprenticeship to Gilbert Slater, dressing case maker. In 1859, Betjemann & his sons, were established in their main facilities at 36 – 44 Pentonville Road. Responsible for numerous patents relating to boxes and dressing cases, the patent quoted on the box relates to a soft close mechanism designed in order to avoid chipping to the onyx as it was shut.
By the early twentieth century Betjemann & Sons had formed a strong working relationship with Asprey & Co of London and they manufactured numerous pieces for the company. In Bevis Hillier’s book on Asprey it states that,
“Betjemann’s also made for Asprey boxes of onyx, lapis lazuli and malachite, cigar boxes, cigarette boxes of fine woodwork and ashtrays. Asprey’s still sell an onyx cigarette box with the patent Betjemann hinge, which has a spring in its knuckle that causes the lid to shut gently, not with a snap, so that the onyx will not crack.”
Examples of these boxes with Betjemann’s patent mechanism were also retailed by Cartier.
In super condition, this example has no chips or nibbles to the stone.