Wedgwood pottery container for matches owned by Charles Dickens
This is a Wedgwood pottery container used for both holding and striking matches. It is thought to have been gifted to Charles Dickens in the 1850s after an incident while on holiday in Brighton. Allegedly, Dickens was staying in rented accommodation when he was visited by John Leech and his wife. The group were all driven away from their lodging at Number 60 West Street after the landlord and his daughter were removed by doctors and taken to a psychiatric institution. The match holder was owned by Dickens from the 1850s when he resided at Tavistock House, and even features in the illustration 'The Empty Chair' by Luke Fildes, which captures the scene of Dickens's library following his death in 1870.
The match holder is made from glazed ceramic. The main container has a round, funnel shape with corrugated sides and a light green rim painted along its top and bottom edges. The container sits upon a thick circular base, which is coloured with a deep blue and gold pattern. There is an imprinted makers mark on the base.
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