Kirsten's Corner Jewelry

Rare French Silver (800) Match Safe with Castle Top, circa 1870s


This is a beautiful and incredibly rare 800 silver match safe, made in France in the 1870s. Etched on the lid is a lovely scenic scene depicting a castle surrounded by countryside. Popular in England in the 1870s, these castle tops would often adorn snuff boxes, pill boxes, or match safes (as in this case). This piece has an area for matches below a separate strike plate. This is a highly unusual match safe, as I have never seen a french one before.

It measures 2 1/8" x 1 1/8" x 3/8" and weighs 20 grams. It has the Minerva head hallmark, indicating that it is 800 silver made between 1838 and the present. I was unable to identify the maker's mark. This match safe is in very good condition for it's age but it does have a small crack in one corner of the lid from use (see photos).

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