William Lestourgeon Bougie Box, 1775
Bougie Box - Cylindrical with Carrying Handle & Snuffer - London c.1775 by William Lestourgeon - 4.7cm diameter; 3.2cm high; 43g - MQ/9065</p>
This is a handsome Georgian period silver bougie box with a hinged cover and hinged carrying handle. The cover has an aperture for the wax and swivelling cutter for extinguishing the flame. There is a discreetly engraved crest featuring a stag adjacent to the cutter and thumblift. This is an excellent piece in first class condition.
William Lestourgeon in partnership with his son Aaron were suppliers to the prestigious retailers of Parker & Wakelin. In the Parker & Wakelin Workmen's Ledger of 1766 they were described as suppliers of "tea tubs, cork stoppers, mustard pots, ladles, funnels and nutmeg graters". William Lestourgen entered his own mark in 1771 and expanded his repertoire to include other silver boxes and this piece bears his "WL" with fish surmount maker's mark to the inside base.
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 benefit 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.