Of heavy gauge silver, the low circular box with reeded rims both to the body top and bottom,
the domical lid also with reeded rim and centering a teardrop swivel-action circular wick trimmer;
crested with a leopards head out of a ducal coronet, below the motto :
PRINCIPIIS OBSFA (Oppose Beginnings)
"Bougie" is French for candle,
and so named by the French for an Algerian city known for trading in candle wax.
Their use dates from the early 18th century on the Continent and the mid-18th century in England.
These small cylindrical boxes held wax-taper coils,
the cover having a small hole through which the coiled taper could emerge for lighting.
In England, the bougie box became a piece of desk equipment, similar to the wax jack,
for lighting heating sealing wax.
They were more practical than the wax jack for traveling –
thus often doubling as a source for lighting.
Bougie boxes were usually made from more precious materials than wax jacks –
therefore favored more only by the wealthy.
Thomas Phipps & Edward Robinson (working together in London, 1784 into the early 19th century)
produced mostly fine boxes (snuff boxes, nutmeg graters and vinaigrettes) in silver and gold,
bottle tickets and other small domestic items (knife stands, apple corers, hearing trumpets).
The quality and innovative nature of their work was superior.
Condition : Excellent ; cover with small scratches;
crisp marks to interior of base and cover
2 -5/8" Diameter / 2.2oz.