Rare vintage antique cast iron "match-safe" - stove fireplace wall-mounted match-holder with a wild game hunting theme - topped by a reindeer-head mounted between two standing 19th century huntsmen in European peasant dress - perhaps Scandinavian - Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish - or Russian in origin. Below is a game board on which is hung a hunting horn, a dead pheasant and a rabbit, and two large "game-bags", which serve as the match-holders for wooden. This great piece features original paint with original age-muted colors, and a wonderful patina, with only moderate use-related wear. OUR FLASH PHOTOS JUST DON'T DO IT JUSTICE.
Large match holders such as this one, sitting on the mantel of a fireplace or hanging on the wall next to a wood stove, held the large wooden "farmers" matches used to light the fire. We were told by the prior owner that this one was found hanging in a cabin in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. We have not found a maker's mark.
The match-holder measures 11" high by 5-1/2" wide. The back is a single piece of cast iron, to which the cast-iron match-holder baskets have been attached. The whole piece weighs 2 pound, 3 ounces.
PHOTO INACCURACY: The flash photo images do NOT accurately show the item's condition or muted patina of the colors as they appear when viewed in person. The actual colors are rich but very muted. The worn areas have been accentuated by the photo flash. The classic European huntsman's caps and pants are actually a very dark (almost black) forest green, as is the pheasant's head. The original flesh color on the faces is largely worn away. The hunts-men's jackets, the huntsman's horn, and the pheasant's body are a muted medium yellow-brown. The rabbit, the reindeer head and the baskets are a very dark (almost black) brown. The reindeer antlers and the hanging frame are a muted black. The worn spots and raised areas blend well with the dark colors, and are much less noticeable in person than in the photos. There is old silver paint on the back which was probably heat and / or rust resistant.
PHOTO NOTE: The photo flash distorts the actual colors, showing them to be considerably brighter than they actually appear in person, and accentuates the worn spots making them appear much more distracting, than they actually are.
CONDITION NOTE: In great condition for its age, with a great wonderfully mellow patina The paint on the huntsman faces has largely worn off, and some other raised surfaces show paint chipping and wear. The cast iron has no cracks, and is otherwise undamaged. We have not cleaned the piece, and there is dust in the grooves and indentations. There is some surface rust in the indentation below the hanging rabbit's head. ALL SIGNIFICANT FLAWS ARE VISIBLE IN THE PHOTOS
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