Cor Strike a Light!

Our 12th March Fine Art & Antiques sale will include a single-owner collection of approx. 150 vesta cases. Mainly late 19th and early 20th century, to include silver, gold, agate set, novelty, advertising, and military examples.

These match-holders, named after the Roman Goddess of the hearth and home, kept matches dry as well as protecting the carrier from accidental sparks before the advent of matchbooks and lighters. Despite being highly practical both for smokers and anyone who needed to light a lamp, they could also be personalised and decorated. They took many forms ranging from simple plain brass cases to elaborate engraved and jewelled examples. Due to their many and varied forms, pocket size, and practicality, they have long been popular with collectors.

Of particular interest in this collection is a Victorian 18ct gold miniature vesta case in the form of a book with an estimate of £400-600, and A mid-20th century matchbox holder, depicting Hitler in the Allies' Grip, with 'Mussolini's note to Adolf' verso.

There is also a late 19th century continental white metal vesta with presentation inscription 'Harry Plunkett Greene from the Apollo Club of Kansas City'; Harry Plunkett Greene (24 June 1865 - 19 August 1936) was an Irish baritone who was most famous in the formal concert and oratorio repertoire. He regularly toured America as a performer and judge of musical competitions.

The collection is to be sold without reserve. Full catalogue on our website and live bidding at

This auction also includes our most impressive jewellery section for a few years, a single-owner collection of Victorian mother of pearl collectables, and selected contents from the Rushbrooke Estate.

Viewing on Thursday 10th 10am-7pm and Friday 9am-7pm. The Friday will also include our Twentieth Century Design sale at 11am.


Sign up to hear about forthcoming auctions, news and featured lots


Please be assured that we will never pass your details on to third parties and you can unsubscribe at any point.