Hester Bateman Bougie Box, 1787

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Bougie Box - Cylindrical with Carrying Handle &amp; Snuffer - London 1787 by Hester Bateman - 4.5cm high (to top rim); 5.8cm diameter base; 92g - MU/5299</p>

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Here is a very rare piece! Bougie boxes in themselves are by no means common, but this is the first example we have found by Hester Bateman. Fully hallmarked to the side of the cylindrical box, and appropriate partially marked to the inside cover and conical snuffer, this box displays two good examples of the sought after HB maker's mark. The cover has an aperture for the wax and attached to a chain is a small conical extinguisher for snuffing out the flame. The box is engraved to one side with the script "EM" initials of the original owner. An excellent piece in first class condition.


Wax jacks or bougie boxes were an essential part of desk equippage and were used to hold coils of sealing wax. Bougie boxes tended to be favoured when travelling as they could be easily packed away and retrieved when required, plus the had the added beenfit of providing a small amount of light when needed. The taper would be threaded through the hole in the cover and lit allowing the user enough heat to melt the wax to seal letters and documents. The snuffer would be used to extinguish the flame.