Sterling silver match safe or vesta with baroque-type ornamentation (symmetrical scrollwork and stylized leaves) and the figures of a man and a woman.
The piece has a hinged top that still snaps shut perfectly, and a ridged area on the bottom for used for striking matches. Vestas (or match safes) were used in the days before safety matches. On the back is a monogram comprised of the initials S, C and C.
The match safe is embossed with the word, “Sterling,” but there is no indication of a maker’s mark. Consequently, we do not know the precise age or origin of the piece, although we are reasonably certain that it is likely of American manufacture, and probably dates to the late 19th or very early 20th century.
Measurements: approximately 2½ inches high x 1⅝ inches wide x ½ inch thick. The piece weighs about 1 ounce (30 grams) before packaging.
Condition: Very good for a piece of this vintage. As we noted above, the hinge mechanism on the top works well, and the piece has no major dents, damage or repairs. There is, however, one small, moderately deep, scratch just below the monogram on the back, and a collector’s initials etched into the back of the lid. Please see the photos that accompany this description.
A nice example of a sterling match case.