Lovely little vesta case with lid depicting a Forest scene with Deer and mountains in background. Made of brass with nickel plate over ....brass exposed on high points. Measures 2 1/2" x 1 3/4" x 1/4'"thick. Has a Patent Date marked on inside of lid for 1904....the lid catch works fine....striker pad to one end. A Bargain here!
Vesta cases, vesta boxes, or pocket match safes or match safes were small portable boxes made in a great variety of forms with snap shut covers to contain vesta's (short matches) and keep them dry.
So called after the name of one of the early makers (which was taken from the goddess Vesta, a Roman deity of fire and the hearth), they came into use around the 1830s and were produced extensively between 1890 and 1920. During this period, almost everyone carried strike anywhere matches, so they could light stoves, lanterns and other devices. Early matches were unreliable and prone to ignite from rubbing on one another or spontaneously. Accordingly, most people carried a match safe to house their matches. Wealthy people had match safes made of gold or silver, while common folk had ones made of tin or brass.
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At Molloy's MEGA ANTIQUES CENTRE, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand
Specialists in Pacific Islands Items, Victoriana, And a Fascinating Range of General Collectibles