The collections of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, comprise a unique history of design. The department of Applied Arts and Industrial Design is home to more than 30,000 three-dimensional objects, well over 4,000 of which comprise a rare and extraordinary collection the most unusual of these items. Matchsafes (or Vesta cases) were designed to keep friction matches safe and dry at a time when they were as vital for lighting kitchen stoves as they were for lighting gentlemen's cigars. In this book, Deborah Sampson Shinn traces the history of these compact metal containers in America, Britain, Europe, and Japan from the 1850s up to the 1910s, when cheap matchbooks and petrol lighters heralded the decline of the matchsafe.
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Chapter One The Age of Matchsafes
Chapter Two Makers and Manufacturers
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9 cm advertising age of matchsafes art nouveau arts and crafts Attleboro Birmingham Bottom center Bottom left Bottom right boxes British carved celluloid cigar cigarette commemorated Cooper-Hewitt copper Deborah Sampson Deborah Sampson Shinn deco Detail of figure Diamond Match Company enamel enameled decoration England engraved European female friction matches gold Gorham Manufacturing Company Huntley & Palmers images included inlaid invented ivory Japan Japanese design Jewelers lacquer late 19th century London match containers matchbox matchsafe design Matchsafe inscribed matchsafe production matchsafes featured matchsafes ornamented materials models Mordan & Company motifs National Design Museum Newark novelty Opposite Detail painted patented plated brass plated metal pocket matchsafes popular printed probably Europe produced relief decoration Sampson Mordan scenes shape shells Shiebler silver matchsafe silver-plated smoking souvenirs style Tiffany & Company Top center Top left Top right unidentified maker's mark unidentified mark United vesta vulcanite Whitehead & Hoag wood World's Fair York