Castelfidardo Italy 1945, Celluloid, 96mm x 79mm x 19mm
A Polish Celluloid Cigarette case. To the front are applied 10 unit insignia of:
– 6th Lwów Infantry Division
– 2nd Polish Corps
– Base of the 2nd Polish Corps
– 8th British Army
– Polish Army in Middle East
– 7th Infantry Division
– 5th Kresowa Infantry Division
– 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division
-2nd Warsaw Armoured Division
– Polish YMCA
The upper part has the initials (partly damaged) MZ and inscription “Italia 2.VIII.1945”.
The cigarette cases are one of many souvenirs made in Castelfidardo, however it is rarely seen to have such a large number of unit badges applied and furthermore a YMCA “Polska” badge. This is a first time that we see a YMCA Polska insignia on a celluloid souvenir.
Objects like this were made in Italy in the Town of Castelfidardo from July of 1944 just prior to the Battle of Ancona until around 1947. Castelfidardo was the center of accordion production (which used celluloid). However due to war, the demand for musical instruments was low, as soon as the Polish troops arrived, the local workshops began production of Polish insignia from the celluloid, as well as patches and memorabilia such as this one.
The condition is good, however the upper part has been broken off and glued back. The case should be opened with care as the top may break again.