"Vesta cases, vesta boxes, or
pocket match safes were small portable boxes made in a great variety of
forms with snapshut covers to
contain vestas (short matches) and keep them dry. So called after the name of one of the early makers, they came into use around the 1830s
and were produced extensively between 1890 and 1920. They coincided with an explosion in the popularity of smoking.
The different patterns and types must run into many thousands. As well as plain and decorated square, oblong and round cases, a myriad of
novelty shapes have been recorded; brass pigs with hinged heads were popular, as were vesta cases in the form of Mr Punch, skulls,
musical instruments, boots and shoes, bottles, ladies' legs and so on." Read more on the history of match safes
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