Just The Sweetest Victorian Bronze Table Match Holder of a Dear Bear in his Top Hat Tip-Toeing through the Flower Garden


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THE STORY - This little guy for me is a wonderful example of the Victorians ability to create crazy, charming and beautiful Novelty items, which they for some reason had a real lust for. This darling bear is gilt bronze and is a Table Match / Vesta Holder. He stands with his large feet set amongst a bed of flowers, with a crumpled Top Hat on his head and a basket on his back for holding the matches and may possibly have been used as a strike to light them, and what I think is the best of finishing touches his small glass eyes. The Bronze is raised on a black rectangular base which I am certain is some natural stone but I am unsure of which. It is very finely cast with exquisite detail from the fur on his face to the thicker fur of his body and the claws on his feet, and it is so wonderful to have those flowers amongst which he walks. I do think he did originally have a walking stick upon which his paws would have rested, but sadly this has been lost over time, although I have to confess when I first saw him in an auction catalogue and my heart had been instantly won but that face and his incredible charm it wasn't until I received the condition report that I realised he should have had a stick! And as you can see it did not put me off one little bit. I have in my research seen a couple of like examples, one indeed was not bronze but brass, but I did not find an example that still had the flower garden base.

AGE - Circa 1870

CONDITION - The Match Holder is in good condition. As I have already mentioned above I do think there was original a walking stick upon which he was resting his paws and I am not certain but there is a small spot in front of his back paw which it could have been soldered to. His wonderful glass eyes are I am pretty certain the original ones as is the base he is screwed upon. And he is a little dusty but as ever I will leave this to his new owner to decide whether they want to remove the dust or not. And it has to be said that the base of the flower garden is not mounted to the base completely squarely.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Height 5" / 13cm, Width 5" / 13cm, Depth 3" / 9cm

The fact that this little guy will probably no longer carry any matches does not for an instant detract from his beauty, after all that basket is a wonderful receptacle for holding and tidying away all those small little objects one is not sure where to store but doesn't want to throw away, or maybe could be used on your dressing table as a ring holder. And yes he may have lost his walking stick, but as I said for me it did not detract from his charm one little bit and I have to say he displays that dried Allium flower beautifully. But do you know what for me makes this little guy so very special it is those tiny little glass eyes, so small but they give so much animation to his dear face it is incredible. And yes if the new owner wants the dried Allium Flower he holds they can certainly have it, just let me know.

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