Vesta case

Known as ‘match safes’ in the US, vesta cases are small portable boxes for keeping matches. Available in a wide variety and at different price levels, they have become a popular area of the collecting market.

Vesta cases first came into use in the 1830s but, as they became more sophisticated in terms of style and decoration, they came to represent important symbols of status, wealth and personality. Part of the essential 'dress code' of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, they were made in a range of materials including silver, enamel, gold or brass.

Read ATG's detailed guide to vesta cases here


A ‘dog kennel’ vesta case is among five lots to watch

13 May 2024

With estimates from £300, here are five previews of items coming up at auction this week.


Hurrah for a Suffragette vesta case for sale at Derbyshire fair

06 May 2024

A vesta case decorated with a campaigning Suffragette is among the highlights at the Buxton Decorative, Antiques & Art Fair.


Collector Interview: The very best of the vesta case world

17 July 2023

Businessman Nigel Ross runs a group of commercial property investment companies and divides his time between homes in England and Florida with business trips to New Zealand and elsewhere.


Cigars at the officer’s table

06 March 2023

Military history and regimental glamour combine in a Victorian silver cigar case offered at Ripon auction house Elstob & Elstob (25% buyer’s premium).


Strike two for Sampson & Mordan vesta cases

28 March 2022

The Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu sale at Dix Noonan Webb (25% buyer’s premium) in London on March 15 included more fine silver and enamel vesta cases by Sampson Mordan & Co to add to those sold by the firm in September 2021.


Pick of the week: Silver vesta case strikes a blow for the motor car

20 September 2021

This rare Victorian silver vesta case with an enamelled scene of an early tiller-driven automobile is hallmarked for Sampson Mordan & Co, London 1896.


Single-owner collection of British and American card cases spark a white-glove sale

29 March 2021

It was a white-glove result for 58 lots of silver card and vesta cases/matchsafes collected by Joseph and Miriam Poser offered for sale by Doyle (26% buyer’s premium) in New York last month.

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Box clever: Five boxes coming up at auction this month

16 November 2018

Whether you are a collector of silver boxes or cigarette cases, a variety of shapes and sizes are on offer at auction. Here is a selection coming up at auction next week.

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10 vesta cases from the remarkable McKenzie collection sold at Lawrences auction

23 January 2018

Earlier this month, Lawrences of Crewkerne sold the second half of a remarkable collection of vesta cases or match safes pieced together over 50 years by the late John and Patricia McKenzie.


Notable vesta case collection to light up Somerset saleroom a second time

02 January 2018

On January 15 Lawrences of Crewkerne will sell the second half of a remarkable collection of vesta cases or match safes pieced together over a 50 year period by the late John and Patricia McKenzie.

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Vesta match cases fire up auction interest at Lawrences in Somerset

14 December 2016

Most collectors have a burning passion. For John and Patricia McKenzie, the items that fired their interest were vesta cases, the small portable boxes made to contain matches and keep them dry.