Japanese style vesta box
This beautiful, small object was used by the smoker for storing his matches. It is a so-called vesta box, named after Vesta the Roman goddess of fire. The short wax matches had to be kept dry and for that purpose a box with a good closing system was needed. On the inside of the hinge we find a kind of clamping spring to keep the box closed. Such boxes were extremely popular between 1890 and 1920 and were produced in large numbers in an infinite variety. Characteristic of the vesta boxes is the slot provided with grooves that are usually placed on the underside. This part is meant to strike the match. With this box, however, there is a simpler roughened zone, which is placed on the curve of the box. They are real pocket boxes and some vestas even have a ring to wear on a watch chain. An attractive feature of this mechanically printed box is the beautiful representation that has been applied on both sides, inspired by portraits of Japanese actors. Thanks to the tint of the brass, this almost resembles an exclusive lacquer decoration.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 18.359Permalink