Historical information

This detailed example of a match holding Vesta was owned by someone with the initials GBW but is otherwise difficult to identify ownership.
Vestas are the historical name for what are now known as matches. They were named for the Roman goddess Vesta whose domain was the hearth and home. The Swan company began production of short matches, mostly useful for lighting pipes and cigarettes due to their deliberately short length. Due to their small size it became convenient to carry these Vestas within a Vesta Case kept somewhere on the person, large enough to contain enough matches for a days use. The cases prevented their contents from becoming damaged and damp while also stopping them from accidentally striking if held loose in a pocket.
This example of a Vesta case is particularly ornate.


The social history objects held in the Burke Museum's collection help to tell the stories of Beechworth's past by showing the social, cultural, and economic aspects of the town's history.

Physical description

A decorative silver coloured vesta or match book. It has detailed engraving across the obverse and reverse sides with delicate scrollwork and a monogram set in a circular setting in the centre. The vesta has a hinged top and side loop to allow for attachment.

Inscriptions & markings