This is adorable, whether it is a spill vase or match safe. It is at least vintage, possibly older. The child is well-detailed with water running into his hand, then streaming down. The clothing is very special. A pink ribbon around the hat, pink coat with gold accents, underclothes with precious flower pattern, shoes, even a curl in the middle of the forehead. It is simply very charming piece. It is unmarked.
Size: 5" tall.
Condition: Very Good.
A spill vase was usually kept on the mantel piece and was filled with rolled paper tapers or very thin wood sticks, called spill. Spill was used to transfer fire from the fireplace to candles, lamps, a pipe or a cigar. Commercial matches, which first surfaced in England during the 1820s,were a relatively expensive commodity until the late 19th century, and spill was therefore a more cost effective solution. The earliest literary references to splints, spills and tapers date back to the 15th century, as do the vases that held them. From 1700-1870 spill holders were made of wood, iron, porcelain, pottery, brass and even wall paper. There are also some examples made in glass, although these are mostly limited to the 1840s-50s.
A Match Safe held matches, of course. They came on the scene in the early 1800s. Now they are fast becoming a very popular collectible.
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