Historical information

Cigerette case given by Dame Nellie Melba to John Charles Hughes. Mr Hughes was responsibile for maintaining and tuning her piano while on tour in the USA and Australia


John Charles Hughes was born in 1882 of Scotish- Irish ancestry . He was a graduate of the New England Conservatory od Boston where he studied classical music and piano. In 1926 John Charles Hughes' wife died of cancer leaving a daughter Dorothy (who is the wife of the donor). He was unable to continue his work after the death of his wife and after a bout of alcoholism disappeared and was never seen again.

Physical description

Silver cigarette case with textured horizontal lines on outside surface and engraved monogram in centre. Hinged lid and clasp at one end. Interior has flat metal bar attached at one end to keep cigarettes in place, and 'From Nellie Melba 1913-1914' engraved across surface underneath bar.

Inscriptions & markings

(Engraved) From Nellie Melba 1913 - 1914