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Nora, Expert in Fine and Decorative Arts: Renaissance through Contemporary
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 12784
Experience:  Liberal Arts BA College Degree, Post-Graduate Christie's Education in London, 10 Yrs Art World Experience in NYC, President & Founder own Corporation. Member AOA & ISA USPAP Compliant through 2019
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I have a metal cigarette case with a curved top with

Customer Question

I have a metal cigarette case with a curved top with engraring on the front "From the officers of the USS Dentuda. I know the Dentuda was a sub in WW 2 that damaged one enemy ship when 2 patrol boats with depth charges came after them.
The Sub evaded & sank the 2 patrol boats. I think this was made for Commander McCain since he shows up as the only commander of this sub. What would be its worth today?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Rarewares replied 11 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I would love to help. There were no photos of the piece that came with your original inquiry.
Please use the Add Files feature on your screen to add pictures of the item and any marks, labels or writing.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I think it was special made for the only commander on record, Commander McCain, Senator McCain's father. A Navy museum curator said I was probably right but they did not keep records on those kind of awards. I am not able to put pictures on this media.
Expert:  Rarewares replied 11 months ago.

Open the case and look for the maker's mark and the word STERLING. Describe the makers mark to me. It would be small and either on the edges of the inner case or on the back flap of the holder bar.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
There are no markings of any kind other than the engraving & the metal seems to be a mix of metals, not silver, but looks like brass but isn't. Could be the metal used for repairs for the sub!
Expert:  Rarewares replied 11 months ago.

Without seeing the piece, I am unable to assess it.

I will opt-out and allow another expert to answer.
They will see our conversation. I am not able to respond once I opt-out. Good luck!

Expert:  Nora replied 11 months ago.


As a non-sterling metal presentation cigarette case from World War II, this can sell for an average of $15 - $40. As a case that may have been presented to and owned by the father of Senator John McCain, Commander McCain, this could sell for up to $200 or more in the right market. It would be necessary for you to somehow prove a direct link to such ownership. Doing so would entail a fair amount of research in tracing ownership to your possession and still, ultimately, may not lead to a definitive answer on if Commander McCain indeed possessed the case.

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