A Day

A story presented by

Scene 1:

It was a bright cold day with glassy surfaces that looked hard.
Into the square frame he stood as if in a dream.

What emerged was precisely what he expected to find: a reflection of memory images. Contemplating his face in the photo frame he waited.

1960s lucite and chrome 3 image photo frame

By the steady hands of his watch, he listened to time. Every day for the past sixteen days he saw her. Silver lingered in the crease of
an open book.

Rolex burlwood dial, Jubilee bracelet Miniature
oar English university trophy, sterling silver.

So absorbed in his thoughts
he hardly saw the platinum catch-all, the key, or the revelation locked inside those lapis lazuli cufflinks tossed unmistakably in cold blue.

Hans Hanson catch-all. Mid-century, Danish sterling silver. Stirrup money clip, by Hermès. Padlock keyring, sterling silver " Tie bar-slide " Round lapis lazuli cufflinks" Square cufflinks, two tone rose and yellow gold, diamond."

Only by whirling on his heel could he hope to comprehend
the panorama.

Shoe horn, circa 1930. American sterling silver
Scene 2:

He remained.Trapped in that enormous room,
unmistakably familiar in feeling yet so peculiar.

Above the mantle was
displayed an Austrian hound
of impeccable integrity.

Hagenauer sculpture, 1930

His gaze fell on the letter opener. By accident she had learnt more about his life from the contents of that letter than anywhere.

Dunhill letter opener with lighter top, circa 1950

Cleopatra’s eye reflected
the sun. Through the hypnotism
of precious metals there
emerged a dark slender shadow.

Cleopatra’s eye magnifying glass. Mid-century, gold plated
Hermès weighted pen. Silver plated.

A lighter presented itself, smooth to the touch
it gave the impression of
intelligent company.

Table lighter St Dupont, circa 1960. Gold plate
Scene 3:

All this time light was receding from the room.

“I should explain why I spend so much time here”, said the silhouette. Leaves moved like shadows across her eyes.

Hermès rope bottle opener. Plated silver.

It’s not too late to turn back. Time moved with faint sounds.

Venini hourglass. Hand-blown lurid Murano glass.

He unscrewed the telescopic cup, rolled and remained still. Black eyes on the dice prophesied a new cycle.

Telescopic cup, J. E. Cauldwell. Gold plated. Dice,
Cartier for America. Vitreous enamel glass, silver

Staring down at the varnished surface her mouth worried him while her eyes examined the gold cufflink.

Audemar Piguet evening watch. gold plated, Roman dial, alligator strap
Scene 4:

Everything went crashing black.

Pale graceful hands placed
the gold stud box delicately
on the table.

Men’s Edwardian jewellery box, 1910. Gold plated.
Mid-century British cigar ashtray. Sterling silver and crystal.

He lit a match to make sure the watch had really stopped. Smoke lingered from its vesta case.

Realist wrapped tobacco leaf march vesta. Silver.

As the travel clock neared
one the figure vanished into dappled shadows.

Art Deco Jaeger LeCoultre travel clock.
Gold and silver plated. Retailed by Aspray.

On the newly varnished table two bronze shot cups sat alive like in a dream.

Tooth shot cup by Foundwell. Bronze and silver plated.
Set of 4, 3 silver 1 gold. Heath & Midleton champagne decanters circa 1900.
Sterling silver and glass.
The End

A story by FOUNDWELL
Photography Matthieu Lavanchy, creative direction OK-RM,
notes by Kate O’Brien and objects selected by Alan Bedwell

A story by FOUNDWELL
Photography Matthieu Lavanchy,
creative direction OK-RM
notes by Kate O’Brien
and objects selected by Alan Bedwell

Early and Rare Sterling Silver Gorham Martini Mixing Bucket

Golf Cocktail Shaker
and Matching Golf Bag Cup

Sterling Silver Woven Bottle Coaster



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A unique sterling silver smoking set containing a pair of ash trays and cigarette box made in the form of human teeth. This is a spectacular, unique, if not bizarre and slightly macabre set. However, that just adds to its magnificence. Being that not another one of these have been found in any literature, or internet search, leads us to believe it would have likely been a special commission piece. More than likely for a dentist, and a very successful one at that. The cost to have commissioned such a piece would have been quite astronomical.

The manufacture of box and ash trays is of the highest quality production of silver from arguably, certainly from a design point of view, the golden age of silver; the Art Deco period. For Dunhill it was a time of experimentation, unique design and 'fun'! This is all very fascinating since when this actual piece was made, 1930, the world was experiencing the deepest financial crisis known following the September 1929 Wall Street Crash. However, the "jet set" crowd of the time were still spending on unique and lavish items from houses such as Cartier, Dunhill, Van Cleef & Arpels, to name but a few, on special items such as this, and keeping the bright and talented minds across Europe's ateliers and workshops very busy.

This smoking set was made during the golden age of Dunhill. It was a time when the world's rich and famous were patronising this legendary establishment to have all manor of pieces made. For example, legend has it, wealthy South American customer of Dunhill, Señor Santiago Soulas, requested for a watch to be placed into a cigarette lighter for him. This then first appeared in the Dunhill catalog as the "Unique B" in 1926. During this time there were also a number of combination pieces which started to appear in the catalogs for the first time; cigar cutters, a key with a watch and then compendiums which had spaces for various necessities and combined lighters cigarette cases, swizzle sticks, pencils, amoung other items. For the ladies there was even a 'vanity' lighter, 'containing all the necessary beautifying aids. Puff, powder, mirror and lipstick are cleverly concealed in the dainty case', so the catalog describes. These pieces, and concepts, were inspired by the 'minaudières' carried by elegant ladies of the 18th century.

These demanding clients from all over the world pushed boundaries, made lavish requests and were accordingly equipped. There were two main workshops in London which eventually combined; William Frederik Wright and Ramsden & Roed. There was "La Nationale" in France. They were also highly productive during this period producing most of the early watch lighters for Dunhill, and then the expert enameler Louis Kuppenheim. However, of all the finest combination pieces that have come to light over the years there is one craftsman who is attributed to them; Matteo Cellini. Known fondly as "Bando". Each of the pieces that bore his hand were hand engraved with his name, by him. This can be seen present here along side the Dunhill London assay marks.

The Bando signature first appeared on a Dunhill piece in 1919. It was referred to in the catalog as follows;

"these superb cases are the work of the renowned master craftsman in precious metal, Matteo Cellini, known familiarly to his fellow workmen as 'Bando'. In beauty of design and perfection of craftsmanship they rival the famous craftsmen of old. Each bears the signature of the artist-craftsman known as 'Bando'".

This unique set has been masterfully made to replicate the human molar tooth. The human molar tooth, molaris dens, meaning "millstone tooth", are found in the back of the jaw and are used very much to that effect. They are large and fairly flat to grind and chew, teeth. Adults have twelve molar teeth in the mouth, with each tooth having four to five cusps, this main box has four. Both the box and ash trays sit on three roots. However, this is actually very rare to occur in real life. Three-rooted molars are oddities in most modern dental practices. Molars generally have just two roots, but occasionally a third, smaller root grows. In Europe and Africa, fewer than 3.5% of people have such teeth. The hand-engraving near the tops on the tooth, and the ridge line that runs erratically through them show where the gum line would be, and where the strong enamel protects the tooth from decay above it.

The largest molar, the cigarette box, has a hinged lid which, once opened, actually lifts up the contents of the cigarette box, offering them at an easier, more accessible height. It is divided in two by a sterling central divider. The depth is deep enough to fit a modern cigarette with a filter, which is unusual for the time, as cigarettes did not yet have filters. The interior drop is about four inches deep. Therefore it can be assumed the original purpose was for cigarillos or café cigars. Today, of course, it can be used to hold what ever is desired. The set could even in fact be repurposed for a bar set. It could hold cocktail picks, or alike, in the large tooth, and the smaller ash trays can be used as shot cups. Unlike the box, which has a beautifully hand fitted cedar wood inner, the teeth are solid silver and can double as a vessel for liquid.

The ash trays, or cups, are beautifully hand made as well. They are made in two parts. The frame of the tooth is constructed, and then the quite deep, at one and a half inch drop, cup element is then hand made, pinned and soldered along the top join. A deep cavity indeed!

All pieces have the corresponding, and matching, "AD" in a diamond assay marks for Alfred Dunhill. Also, with the corresponding date letters marks. It is miraculous that all three of these original components have remained complete with the box for, what is now, ninety three years, and are perfect in condition! Who knows if a matching lighter was ever made to accompany the set? Knowing Bando's ingenuity, there is a very good chance there could have been! Nothing has ever surfaced through research, however.

The overall condition of the set is excellent. There is no damage to the inner wood lining of the box itself. The original gilt wash lining to the inside of the lid is complete throughout and has toned to a rich luster. The box is hand engraved "Bando" and "Dunhill. London" either side of the full set of London assay office hallmarks. The smaller teeth are each stamped on the underneath of the tooth all the way into the base of the roots.

This is an exceptional and unique piece of Dunhill history, the likes of which will never be made again. Anyone working in the field of dentistry would surely find great amusement, and treasure such a unique piece. It can simply appeal to anyone with an eye for exquisite craftsmanship, novel design and uniqueness. Given that this was made by Dunhill's most celebrated craftsman, this takes on another level of desirability entirely


Price $19,500.00


Item Dimensions
Box Height
7.5 inches (19.05cm)
Ash Tray Height
4 inches (10.16cm)