15 September, 2015

"A Victorian Tartanware Mystery . . . "

Greetings -

I mean, I guess we could play an extended version of "guess what this is. . . " in the comment section.  But, since the solution is a wee bit clouded in mystery - we would never know which of you had come up with the correct answer.

So let's start with some facts.  It was made in Scotland in the mid-to-late 1800's.  It is marked with "McPherson" to signify the tartan in which it is covered.  It is approximately 3 inches tall.  Its diameter is approximately 1 3/4 inches.  It opens.  And it has a small receptacle on its top.

Well - there are actually two common answers to its name and use.  And I find both madly romantic.

"Since matches were essential to the Victorian home, makers 
assembled a wide assortment of match containers. Some were no more 
than novelty matchboxes serving no additional purpose, while others 
incorporated a bone holder for an individual match. 
Called "go to beds," this type could serve as a candle 
providing light just long enough to get into bed. 
Often their true purpose, however, was to melt 
sealing wax without burning the fingers."
from here

So whether you need to scurry across a darkened room to your canopy bed - guided by the light of a single candle - or just need to seal love letters from prying eyes - you are all set. 

Visit our complete collection of Victorian Tartanware at SMW Home.  We charge shipping - but, all the romance is included at no cost!



Karena Albert said...

Scot this is so wonderful and yes for matches, perfect!!
Thanks for carrying so many delightful finds!

The Arts by Karena
Featuring India Hicks!

The-Countrypolitan said...

My first thought was that it was used to put a thread bobbin into and the thread would feed through the top...would never have guessed it was for matches...love the tartan

Merlin said...

Ah-hah!! It really is a beauty!! franki

LilyOake said...

I think its for kitchen or packing twine/string - the bobbin of twine or string goes in the base and the twine end pokes through the small receptacle on top, so you can grab a hold of it and pull out what you need. The bobbin stays neatly tucked inside so it doesn't unwind all over your counter.
Back "in the day" before tape was invented, packages were sent wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine or string.

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