The manner of starting a fire in early days was to strike flint on steel, either mechanically or by hand. Both home and traveler usually had a tinderbox containing a steel striker, piece of flint and charred cloth or tow (tinder) to catch the sparks and burn. This example is of steel, eight-sided and has working hinge and opening button. Inside is a steel striker with a circular hole at the wider end and a small piece of flint. It could also originally have held a small amount of tinder and all used as per the description above. The overall condition is very good for age and use and is blackened and stained as expected. There is some very fine surface rust. These are fascinating historical artifacts and were even considered collectible in the late 19th century (see image from “The Sketch” from 1898). Box measures 3 ins (7.cm) x 3.1 ins (5.3cm) x 0.6 ins (1.4cm). Weight 72 grams.
Insured Air Mail Post with tracking to the USA would be $32.00 USD - with no tracking is cheaper. For shipping cost to other countries, please contact us.
Classic Early Steel Tinderbox with Flint & Steel, early 19th Century
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