A pair of delightful cherubs alight upon crests of waves in this antique match safe from Kerr and Co. The entire case is framed in baroque curves which swoop around the little putti. Nestled at the bottom, emerging from the waves, is a mutachioed face.
The reverse side of the case has engraved initials within the border of waves. The inside of the case has a gilded finish.
William B. Kerr & Co. was one of the great jewelry manufacturers of Newark, New Jersey in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Newark was the capitol of fine jewelry manufacturing in the United States. They were founded in 1855 and purchased by Gorham in the early 20th century by Gorham. In addition to jewelry, they are known for their small silver decorative objects such as this vesta case.
SIZE: 2-5/8" tall x 1-5/8" wide
MARKS: the Kerr and Co. maker's mark of an axe, "Sterling", and "23" which is the model number.
AGE: circa 1900
CONDITION: there is a little flattening of some of the high spots on the silver. The gilt finish on the interior is in excellent condition; the vertical bar that forms part of the spring hinge has some corrosion on it. It appears that the case was cleaned using a silver dip prior to my acquiring it since there is no oxidation of the recesses in the silver. Over time a nice dark patina will return, if desired.