ANTIQUE SILVER VESTA CASES
Antique Silver vesta-cases Description:
A vesta case is a small portable box made to hold short matches for the lighting of cigarettes or cigars. The name vesta being derived from the Roman goddess of the hearth.
Antique Silver vesta-cases History:
The earliest examples of vesta cases are from about 1850. They were made from this date until about 1920 after the invention of personal cigarette lighters.
Antique Silver vesta-cases Design:
Vesta cases are usually rectangular in shape, with rounded corners, and with a hinged and sprung lid, together with a strike plate underneath, and often with a small ring for attaching to a watch chain. They were often concave in cross-section to fit snugly against the belly in a waist-coat pocket. Most vesta cases were quite plain, some were engraved with floral decoration, or sometimes were made in the form of an object such as a horse-shoe, heart, animal head, or horn.
Antique Silver vesta-cases Collectors Note:
As normal, the condition of the vesta case is most important. Pay close attention to the hinge which has often been repaired. Look at the corners and check for holes and cracks along seams. The most unusual examples of vesta cases are very sought after and those in the form of objects or with enamelled scenes command high prices.