What is a Vesta Case?


Vesta cases, also known as match safes, are small boxes that are used to carry matches and keep them safe from the elements.  Vesta cases are often intricately crafted and considered small works of art, which why these match cases are very popular with collectors of antiques.

In the early 1800's, it was common to carry matches, since some type of portable fire was needed to light lanterns and stoves.  The matches of that day were crude compared to today's standards, and were known to light when making contact with each other, and sometimes even spontaneously.  In order to alleviate this potentially hazardous situation, it made good sense to utilize a vesta case or match safe.

One of the more interesting features of the vesta case or match safes is that they almost always include some type of rough or ribbed surface, usually on the bottom of the case that is used for striking the matches.

Match safes, or vesta cases can been found in countless different styles, materials and shapes.  Metals used for making vesta cases range from tin, brass and silver to the more expensive precious metals like gold.  Vesta cases can also be found in natural materials including bone, wood and ivory.  While the most common size of the vesta case is small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket, larger cases were also made for home use.  These larger cases or safes were commonly placed in areas where fires were often lit, for example, near wood burning stoves or fireplaces.

Vesta cases can still be found and purchased today for either personal use or to include in a collection.  For a visual example of vesta cases, here is a small sampling of some of the vesta cases and match safes that can be found eBay, an online auction website:

Choose your country:
Change Sort Order:
RARE DEVIL STERLING VESTA MATCH SAFE BY GORHAM 1888 PENTAGRAM HAS ISSUES RARE DEVIL STERLING VESTA MATCH SAFE BY GORHAM 1888 PENTAGRAM HAS ISSUES $103.50
Rare Novelty Victorian 1886 Silver Vesta Case Enamelled Punch Magazine Cover Rare Novelty Victorian 1886 Silver Vesta Case Enamelled Punch Magazine Cover $836.19
RARE ANTIQUE NOVELTY TABLE VESTA MATCH SAFE FIGURAL BRASS OWL WITH GLASS EYES RARE ANTIQUE NOVELTY TABLE VESTA MATCH SAFE FIGURAL BRASS OWL WITH GLASS EYES $45.60
MARBLESMarble Arms Vintage Match SafeRare Ribbed Body 13USA MADE GLADSTONE MARBLESMarble Arms Vintage Match SafeRare Ribbed Body 13USA MADE GLADSTONE $35.01
VERY RARE MINIATURE VINTAGE TIN CHESTERFIELD CIGARETTE WOODEN MATCH SAFE VERY RARE MINIATURE VINTAGE TIN CHESTERFIELD CIGARETTE WOODEN MATCH SAFE $20.99
rare antique golf ceramic Worlds Smallest Match Strike 1905 Sterling Rim rare antique golf ceramic Worlds Smallest Match Strike 1905 Sterling Rim $120.00
Rare Victorian Silver Hip Flask Vesta Case 1890 Rare Victorian Silver Hip Flask Vesta Case 1890 $608.12
RARENOVELTY BRASS VESTA MATCHSAFE GO TO BED IN THE FORM OF A WALNUT RARENOVELTY BRASS VESTA MATCHSAFE GO TO BED IN THE FORM OF A WALNUT $38.01
Rare Victorian silver vesta case  taper holder WILLIAM SUMMERS London 1874 Rare Victorian silver vesta case taper holder WILLIAM SUMMERS London 1874 $448.50
V Rare Antique c1900 Green Natural Agate Pebble Agate Set Shamrock Vesta Case V Rare Antique c1900 Green Natural Agate Pebble Agate Set Shamrock Vesta Case $7.60

« Previous12345...910

Tags: , , ,

Related pages

Copyright © 2007–2015 Vesta Case · All Rights Reserved — SitemapRevolution Lifestyle theme by Brian Gardner