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Vesta case

Known as ‘match safes’ in the US, vesta cases are small portable boxes for keeping matches. Available in a wide variety and at different price levels, they have become a popular area of the collecting market.

Vesta cases first came into use in the 1830s but, as they became more sophisticated in terms of style and decoration, they came to represent important symbols of status, wealth and personality. Part of the essential 'dress code' of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, they were made in a range of materials including silver, enamel, gold or brass.

Read ATG's detailed guide to vesta cases here


boxes

Notable vesta case collection to light up Somerset saleroom a second time

02 January 2018

On January 15 Lawrences of Crewkerne will sell the second half of a remarkable collection of vesta cases or match safes pieced together over a 50 year period by the late John and Patricia McKenzie.

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Vesta match cases fire up auction interest at Lawrences in Somerset

14 December 2016

Most collectors have a burning passion. For John and Patricia McKenzie, the items that fired their interest were vesta cases, the small portable boxes made to contain matches and keep them dry.

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Matchless collection of more than 1000 vesta cases

20 November 2012

It was the emergence of the very useful but somewhat hazardous ‘strike anywhere’ match in the 1830s that necessitated the fashion for vesta cases.