Art Nouveau "Nude" Sterling Silver Match Safe, circa 1890s For Sale
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Art Nouveau "Nude" Sterling Silver Match Safe, circa 1890s


Listed is a fine quality Art Nouveau sterling silver match safe in repousse relief. It is typical of risque bar items used at the turn of the century; depicting as the central theme on one side, an attractive nude female being adored and pursued by a multiplicity of male suitors with an elaborate floral design framing the subject. The other side is either etched monogrammed (looks like "EBS Jack" but difficult to make out letters) or filigree design, again, framed with identical elaborate floral design. It is marked "Sterling" on the inside storage compartment where matches are kept (see image). Of American manufacture (no identifying mark) although companies like Gorham, Tiffany and Unger were known to produce such objects. This match safe is in excellent all original excellent condition with no restoration of any kind. Match safes were popular from 1870 through 1920 and were used to keep wooden friction matches dry and contained so that they would not rub together and combust prematurely in one's pocket. The wooden match wood be struck against the ribbed surface at the bottom to ignite (see image). The advent of matchbooks and the popularity of the cigarette lighter in the 1920's brought about the demise of the match safe. Provenance: This particular piece is from the George Cross collection. George died in 2007 and was known for his discerning quest for quality and rarity. He collected saloon items and Western memorabilia. Dimensions: 2 7/8" high x 1 7/8" wide.


  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    All original. Fine Quality
  • Dimensions

    H 2.88 in. x W 1.88 in. x D .44 in.

    H 7.32 cm x W 4.78 cm x D 1.12 cm

  • Seller location
    Incline Village, NV
  • Reference number

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About the Seller

5 / 5
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2013
Located in Incline Village, NV
Art Dealers Association of America
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