The People Behind a Masterpiece

In the beginning of 2010 I was surfing eBay auctions when suddenly one of the lots attracted my attention. There was a stunning Japanese cigarette case for sale. Then I didnít know yet it was made by the Otojiro Komai in a Nunome Zogan technique, but it was so beautiful, that I was completely amazed and bought it. Thatís how I started collecting Japanese cigarette cases from the Meiji era (and later from Taisho and Showa eras as well).

By the time, I realized that there is so little information about these cases, especially their makers, that I started my own research. This site is dedicated to attribute different Japanese cigarette cases by makerís marks engraved on them and is updated from time to time. At some moment I thought it will be useful to people that have such cases to know a little bit about artist who created the piece they own, without making a long time research and I decided to share the information I found so far.

For past 10 years the website has greatly grown and now includes more than 200 makers' marks and signatures, wide information about companies and firms produced damascene (and not only) metalworks, production techniques and even short stories behind the scenes depicted on the cases themselves. If you have information that is not provided here, it is appreciated if you can share it with me.

Major part of the information on this website is found, classified and organized in collaboration with a jeweller and metalsmith Fred Zweig (USA) and a former museum conservator-restorer Chris Penry (UK).