An exceptional antique sterling silver wax jack with a scissor action and pierced drip pan. Good early date. The tall column supports a coil of wax, the end of which would have been held in place in the centre of the drip pan. The pretty pierced and cast base has a gadroon border and is supported on ball and claw feet. Weight 226 grams, 7.2 troy ounces. Height 18 cms. Spread across scissors 11.5 cms. Diameter of drip pan 7.5 cms. London 1762. Maker Samuel Herbert & Co (Grimwades mark number 2545).
This antique wax jack is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Full silver hallmarks are struck to the underside and a lion passant to the handle - all very clear. The makers mark, undeniably for for Samuel Herbert & Co, has lost part of the “S” and “B” through the piercing and the second “H” is indistinct. The pierced drip pan sections are undamaged but have a little wear where they meet in the middle.
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
The Wax Jack was a container or frame holding a long coiled taper treated with wax (sometimes turpentine). The wax was lit to melt the sealing wax used to fasten letters and documents and usually a personal seal was pressed into the hot wax to leave a personal identification. After the wax hardened it was virtually impossible to open the letter without breaking the wax seal. The wax jack could also used as a portable light such as the chamber stick or go to bed.