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A silver matchbox owned by Charles Dickens.



Object number (per part)


Object name (per part)


Production organisation

Sampson Mordan & Co

Production date



A sterling silver matchbox apparently owned by Charles Dickens and engraved 'CD' and 'GH' along with Dickens's crest of a lion holding a Maltese cross, and the date '1847'. It's possible this was a gift from Dickens's sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth. The matchbox was gifted to the Museum with a range of other small, personal items inside a presentation case with authentication letters written by Georgina. On the authentication note accompanying this matchbox, Georgina had written, 'I certify that the silver matchbox and cigar cutter "combined" was daily used by my brother-in-law Charles Dickens when travelling on his last visit to America'. The silver markings on this item contradict the information recorded on the authentification note and further work is needed to verify the item.

Other number

2499 (2009 DH object access database number)

Physical description

A sterling silver matchbox, oval shaped with a band of silver that when pushed down, reveals a cavity where matches can be kept. The bottom of the box is serrated for striking matches. The lid is engraved with 'CD' and 'GH', a lion and the year 1847.

Object history note

This matchbox was the personal property of Charles Dickens and may have been gifted to Dickens by his sister-in-law, Georgina Hogarth. Dickens was known to smoke cigars on occasion, and so he likely carried this matchbox on his person.

Inscription content

CD / GH / 1847
[A lion holding a Maltese cross]
S.M. / [Lion passant guardant] / ]leopard's head] / E / [woman's head in profile] / PATENT

Inscription description

The matchbox is engraved with the initials 'CD' and 'GH', Dickens's crest of a lion holding a Maltese cross, and dated 1847.
Silver markings embossed onto item
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