Cigarette box Soldier with PPsH machine gun, Moscow, Shield, Industry, CCCP
There solid cigarette box with the border of the Soviet Union and the letters CCCP
On the back inscription. Farewell gift. The image on the case is not (hand) engraved but pressed with a die in a factory. There is space (in the shield) to engrave initials. In this specific case, the text was too big for the shield.
In many shops in the Soviet Union, usually near a souvenir shop, there were men who could decorate or personalize a gift with a kind of engraving. These craftsmen had a self-built electric tool, a kind of Dremel, with which they engraved with a cutter. The box is an example of this “art”. The text on the case reads:”To my friend Viktor in memory of the joint service in the ranks of the Soviet Army of Smolsky A.L. Chmelnytsky, 1983-1985″
Compulsory military service was a major, if not the greatest, event in the lives for many boys ages 18-20 (often from remote areas and villages). The friendships made during many difficulties and trials during this service often remained literally lifelong friendship.