Smoking is not encouraged by health authorities who regularly issue warnings and governments that levy high taxes. Advertising is banned in many countries but Australia is the first place in the world to introduce plain packaging laws. No longer throughout that country will a pack of cigarettes indicate a smoker’s preference for a particular brand. It is mooted that similiar legislation may be introduced in the UK. This legislation could well rekindle a return to the era when the cigarette case was not only fashionable but commonplace. Chelsea dealer Ian Towning at Bourbon Hanby stocks a fine selection, mostly made in the 1920s and 1930s. “Regularly over the years I have been buying and selling tortoiseshell and silver antique cigarette cases in particular,” he says. “Recently there has been increased demand for them from smokers at home and abroad. Maybe the prospect of new laws is stimulating the return to fashion of these practical antiques.”