A Superb Victorian Enamelled Vesta case depicting a Golfer

Sampson Mordan and Co.
2.25" x 1.25" (5.8cm x 3.2cm)

Of oblong tablet form with ridged strike surface to the base and the top with sprung lid. The front enamelled with a golfer in contemporary dress at the top of his swing with a grassy slope, water and trees behind.


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The earliest Vesta cases seem to date from the 1840's and were usually small and perhaps with engraved decoration. It was not until the 1860's and 70's that silversmiths explored the possibilities of bringing in novel shapes and more interesting decoration. Henry William Dee was one of the best at innovative shapes particularly incoporating a variety of purposes for each box: whistles, knives, cigar cutters, button hooks, pencils, compasses and many more. It was the firm of Mordan and Company, however, that produced the most elegant and sophisticated not only though original shapes and forms but with high quality enamelling. It is for this reason that they have become amongst the most sought after of all vestas. Sentry boxes; hunting, shooting and fishing scenes; train tickets; Punch and Judy tents, there was no limit to their inventiveness.

Golfing vestas are always popular and a similar example to this by Mordan dated one year later sold at Christies South Kensington 15th September 1998, lot 250 for £4000 hammer