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Cased WWII Japanese Army Cigarette Dest Set
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A cased cigarette desk set that was almost certainly presented as a gift from one army officer to another. The case is approximately 6 inches by 9 inches by 1 3/4 inches deep. It contains four nickel plated pieces: a tray; a cigarette box; an ashtray; and a match holder. The ashtray features a gilt army star while the cigarette box bears an army combat helmet and gunto officer's sword. The cigarette box is also engraved with kanji which sets forth a well known Japanese proverb: "Tie the cords on the victorious helmet". The meaning of the proverb is understood in the concept of military strategy: After victory, do not relax, but prepare for the counter-attack. All of the pieces show signs of actual use and indications of wear to the finish, but it remains an impressive set.