For notes on the noble VESTA,
click HERE (from the PCoL website -
LEFT: Assorted Vestas (match safes)
- Victorian & Edwardian era
Variously made of brass, Guta percha
(bakelite), and sterling silver. The
Punch and Warwick Bear vestas are of
the "go to bed" variety. Upon retiring,
one strkes a match and places it in the
vertical holder to illuminate the bed.
Vestas were functional, not merely
decorative. In the era prior to the
invention of the safety match, one had
to prevent setting one's jacket pocket
alight with highly flammable
From the collection of: John Wade
Long, Jr. PCoL #UK603F
Until the early 1800s, steel, flint, and
tinder were still used to make fire. The
first phosphorus matches were created
in the 1830s. Matches were kept in
special containers (match safes) since
they could ignite against any surface.
In 1844, Professor Gustaf Erik Pasch
received a patent for invention of the
safety match. Pasch replaced
poisonous yellow phosphorus with
non-poisonous red phosphorus.
He also separated the chemical
ingredients for the match tip and put
the phosphorous on a striking surface
on the outside of the box. Matches
could be lit only on this striking surface
so the safety match was born. This
was a significant invention, which
made Sweden world famous.
Unfortunately, production was
complicated and expensive.
In 1864, the 28-year-old engineer
Alexander Lagerman designed the first
automated match machine. It was at
this time, as manufacturing shifted
from manual labor to mass production,
that safety matches from Jönköping
(Sweden) matches were exported all
over the world and became world
famous. [ source ]
ABOVE: Edward VII vesta - brass - in the shape of a book - Opens top and
bottom - very rare.
Dates betw. 1902 & 1910 (E VII died 1910). The guta percha Royal vestas are
quite rare, the brass ones, very rare. Shown here with an English 2 Pound coin.
From the collection of: John Wade Long, Jr. PCoL #UK603F
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NOTE: The Collectors' Corner pages are exclusively for displaying items in the collections of members of the Pipe Club of London.
“Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst
those who sit together smoking their pipes.”
- The Results and Merits of Tobacco, 1844 by Doctor Barnstein