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Cigar Box with Fine Fine Miniature Alphons Mucha's "Amethyst" Poster Salimbeni

About the Item

Rectangular rounded cigar box with vertical opening in 925/1000 sterling silver gold plated with fine miniature hand-painted in tempera on vegetable ivory plate by painter Anna Maria Manfriani reproducing Alphons Mucha's "Amethyst" poster, Art Nouveau style. Measure cm. 6 x 15 x 2.3. Weight 265 g. Designed by Giorgio Salimbeni in 1978 and produced in the Salimbeni factory with manual workmanship by talented artisan artists, Story of Mucha collection by Salimbeni, a Tribute to Mucha. In the early seventies, while leafing through a book, I was attracted by the magnificent paintings, drawings and posters of Alfons Mucha, an important representative of the Art Nouveau style. In those days we were working on a large order for a wealthy Californian client, a multitude of objects made for his private collection in a very linear and precise neoclassical style. When I introduced myself to my brother Franco showing him Mucha's drawings he gave me a questioning expression and starting to laugh, he said to me: «Easy things just aren't for you!» I put the book back in spite of myself, in fact Art Nouveau has a realization very complicated pastel colors and sinuous shapes, Ok he was not wrong, and then we had a lot to do. It was 1972 when I again came across a work by Mucha, I don't know if it was a coincidence or another fact that he seemed to be calling me.I had thought and thought about it and at that point Franco too agreed.We chose some of the most significant and elegant subjects and had them reproduced by our painter.Handmade on thin strips of vegetable ivory, we then placed them on the lids of gold plated sterling silver (925/1000) cigar boxes in various sizes.The miniatures must be protected by a crystal because they are delicate, they can get dirty and they must never be wet or dampened. We designed, still in the Art Nouveau style, frames that contained both the crystal and the miniatures and inserted them into the lids of the cigar boxes. The miniatures were initially made by the painter Wilma Cecchi and then by Anna Maria Manfriani. The first cigar boxes produced by the Salimbeni company immediately met with some success and were sold to retailers in some European cities and in the United States. In Paris they were noticed by the son of Alfons Mucha who wrote to us in a very polite manner, informing us that, according to international law, since 50 years have not yet passed since the death of the artist, any use of reproductions of the works of the Father, (beyond to need the necessary concession) entailed the obligation to pay the Copyrigt. Instantly we requested the concession, which was immediately confirmed by him because, he wrote, he considered our objects to be very beautiful and that they would certainly not diminish the art of the Father. We were sent a Contract requesting a percentage of the sales proceeds, which we gladly accepted and honored until, in 1989, it was concluded for exceeding the time limits. Mucha's son liked our products very much. To our great pleasure, on one occasion Alfons Mucha's son wished to receive a box with a miniature of a poster of the Father in exchange for the accrued royalties. We have all the exchanged correspondence which, however, over the years, has gone into hiding somewhere but which we will certainly find among the many documents we have collected in our 130 years of history.
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