New Matchsafes from EnglandBy

New Matchsafes from England

The three vesta boxes, or match safes, shown below were sold in England. Price in U.S. dollars in England at the time was $22-$25 each. All are good quality silver plate; no markings of any kind are on the pieces. The insides of the new pieces have a frosty silver appearance with no sign of use or normal wear. The insides can be tarnished with chemicals, however, and that is not a reliable test of age. A better test is to look down inside the bottom at the tension spring (the vertical bar that keeps the lid shut). The bottom of the new tension springs in these three new safes come to a sharp point. Virtually all old tension springs are rounded or squared off. New safes shown about actual size below.

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Fig. 1 Pointed bottom of new tension spring.

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Fig. 2 Inside view of new lid, left, and old lid, right, with normal aging.

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Fig. 3

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Fig. 4

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Fig. 5