Vesta was the Roman goddess of fire and the hearth, so when strike-anywhere matches came into use in the 1830s and people began to carry them along where-ever they went, it seemed just right to name the cases for said matches after the goddess Vesta. These early matches were unpredictable and could spontaneously ignite, so having them safely tucked away inside a metal box was an excellent idea, indeed.
This wonderful silver Vesta features a soft-as-velvet bloomed finish and a repoussed violet across it’s front. It is gilded to the inside and bears French hallmarks, the Crab and the word “Depose” as well as a makers mark showing that it was hand crafted by Master Art Metallurgist Charles Murat who won prizes for his work a the Universal Exhibitions of 1855 in Paris, 1862 in London, 1867 in Paris and 1876 in Philadelphia. The Vesta measures 56 mm from top to bottom and 34.2 mm across, it’s 11.3 mm thick and weighs 19.5 grams. Made in France around 1870.
These days we don’t really need to carry matches, most stoves are self-lighting, and lanterns aren’t as common as they used to be, but these wonderful little boxes make excellent pendants, and if you have a little something you need to take along, you can use it for that as well!
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