Vesta case and whistle combination, match safe combined with whistle, A.Strauss.
Vesta case or match safe and whistle combination.
by A.Strauss © 2009 (over 20 examples)
Up until twentieth century what we call match was known as vesta after the name of a roman goddes 'Vesta'.
Matches were made with phospherorus, sulphur head, , highly flammable and had kept dry
so needed to be carried in a box .The american term for vesta case is match safe.
The first "friction match" was invented by English chemist John Walker in 1826.
see footnotes and links*
Vesta cases were popular from 1830's to 1930's the The use of the petrol lighter around 1910's on led to decline in the need and use of the vesta case.
( A very well known name among whistle collectors is W, Dowler from Birmingham see his history here,
owned one of England's largest factories for making matches, in the 1860's he had over 500 workrs. His factory burned down in 1870, because of the match making materials, later he produced many whistles for fire fighters A.S. )
Since many are very rare and we have at times only one chance see,
we have used our picture archive to show some samples we came across
thrugh the years and today reside in various collections.
The cases come with a large variety of shapes; Round, oval, rectangular, square, and tappered others and ones with figural shapes are rarer.
Match holders were designed either the french style, short matches or
the longer British made ones. so cases were designed accordingly. Cont.
I will bring some of many examples from England Germany France and theU.S
and will devote more articles to these in the future.
In general vesta collectors have much larger literature and documentation available and vesta prices reach far higher prices the whistles so when it comes to whistle collectors competing in auctions with vesta collectors the first ones are usually bound to loose. same is true with other crosscollectibles that are whistles as well.
French with classic torso sculpture, silver, 19th century, silver.
French, square shape with compass on top, threefold Vesta Whistle & Compass.
Square shape vesta with whistle combination are much rarer than the round ones made in the 1870-'s 80's
Typical german & french 19th century style with hunting theme, this one is silver made by Tiffany U.S.A, made 1876. Because of the inscribtion on the back from a historical event the vesta riched the bice price of $ 3600 .
A hunting scene with hunter & dog, German, round whistle c. 1880's
Early brass whistle and match holder with compass, c 1870's , it has a nice striker see above ,
and a hunting scene on other side, many times the striker was made of steel so it does not ware off, and attached to the vesta case.
Silver 3 fold , whistle & lighter inside a vesta case compartment.
The lighter may had been made at a later date to replace the original matches.
Portugal , prop. early 20th century, WW I.
U.S.A made match safes.
a simmilar one in found in poor condition.
A whistle with hiden compartment, round vesta case, match safe
guilded brass with fine ornaments, graphic work to be admired.
Animals, crane, fish, butterflies, ships and pagoda.
Note Rectangular window. U.S.A made by E.J. Hoadley.
Nickel plated Brass, three fold combination cigar cutter vesta & whistle.
U.S.A Patent number 344,370 of 1886 issued to A. Greth ,
shows a combination of round vesta case, cigar cutter and whistle.
Another patent, 10 years later by Higgins shows a combination of corkscrew
match box and whistle , "Improvment in pocket instruments that nearly every gentelman is accustomed to carry about with him and to use almost daily"
Heavy brass with simple attractive design, U.S.A.
Tappered shape, Notched window , silver vesta whistle AL Ld. Leeds.
(Alfred Lea 1918 Leeds).
Above; Silver vesta case & whistle by Alfred Lea 1909, Leeds.
Silver plated Brass made stamped E.P.N.S. (Electro Plated Nickel Silver ) See comment.
French 19th cent. wild Boar head veats & whistle. N.P. Brass,
the striker is on the inside end of the whistle.
whistles in the same style were made with Horse & Dog heads for Hunters.
Ornate sterling silver oval vesta by S.M. 1897, London.
Sampson Mordan is one of the most well know names of British Silversmiths
his company made many fine vesta cases and whistle combinations and many variations of other novelty silver items over a long period of time.
An article about this important jewlery co. and his history as whistle manufacturer is soon to be published.
Made by cornelius saunders & Franck shepherd 1892
Oval sterling silver vesta and whistle, John Millward Banks,
hallmarked Chester for 1902,.
Silver made vesta shaped as a GSW , Two windows
two notes tube whistle and compass at top,
Length 88mm, Birmingham, 1894.
Sterling silver whistlewith compassand swivel loop,
compass has crystal top. A .& J. Z. Birmingham 1876.
Interesting design with push button to open cover with spring mechanism. Sterling silver, made by W.W.F.D London, 1878 ,
Retailer; H Lewis, 172 New Bond St. London. In the next article about match safes
I would discuss the original patent and drawing.
Silver vesta case and whistle with shield Birtmingham 1910.
silver vesta case replica made in Korean - Potugal, copy of a victorian style one,
made in large numbers, in Korea and I believe and in Portugal as well.
Many good collectors had paid a lot for these few years back, today most collectors are aware it is a copy. made c 2000 .
I shall take the opportunity to thanks Mr Vesta, George Sparacio which I will qoute his comment here , and I thank him for his great help and info of other articles here about Vesta Whistles.
I allways found that help of specialists is irreplaceable when learning about collectibles, Thanks again Mr. Vesta
I really enjoyed your website and have a few comments for you personally and not for the guest book. First as a little background, I am an avid match safe collector and have been so for over 25 years. I'm also the founder of the International Match Safe Association.
FYI, both French and English matches tended to be the shorter, wax vesta types,
although they made a few longer matches that were not as popular. The majority of American matches tend to be the longer type, ktchen matches as many people refer to them. The intitals E.P.N.S. do not refer to a maker's initial, its usually found on English match safes/vestas that are made from Electro Plated Nickel Silver.
A & J. Z. stands for Arthur Zimmerman & John Zimmerman.
W.W.F.D. stand for William Thomas Wright & Frederick Davies.
The reproduction whistle match safe you indicated was made in Korea was actually made in Portugal. In the early 1990's I bought an example in its original sealed package with its original "Made in Portugal" press- senstive label. This match safe was included in an article by Antique & Collector Reproduction News. I can send you a copy if desired. Do you have any more information on E. J. Hoadley? I've never heard of them and would like to find out more for my reference files.
Also, the boars head match safe image from IMSA's website is one from my collection. Even though I don't specialize in combo whistle/match safes I have a number of them in my collection. If you would like to see photos of others, I would be happy to send them along.
I hope you find my comments helpful. I really enjoyed seeing your site and commend you for your hard work in putting it together. If you ever have any questions about match safes, please feel free to contact me. I have an extensive reference library on the subject and I'm always willing to help if possible."
Keep up the good work, George Sparacio
Whistle museum , Avner Strauss, Copyright © 2009 all rights reserved. http://www.saltarbut.co.il באדיבות סל תרבות שטראוס, אבנר שטראוס