Fall in love with this small bronze Victorian ladies hand wax seal or pipe tamper. I picked up the original at an antique market and could not put it down.
The detailed hand is fashioned with a ring on her fore finger and a decorative cuff depicting a ribbon tied into an ornate bow.
The original exquisite solid brass hand was likely an antique pipe tamp stopper, pipe tamper, or wax seal with a blank matrix. The shiny bronze hand will make a lovely desktop trinket, miniature hand sculpture, ring holder, paper weight, ornament, or collectable/collectible. Note, the bottom is slightly rounded, not completely flat, so it does lean and sway a bit.
- symbolism -
Hands were popular symbols during the sentimental Victorian era, made popular by the Queen herself, often symbolic of loyalty, strength, romance, fidelity, generosity, hospitality and stability.
The hand is the tool of tools. It represents strength, power and protection. Historically, the hand has been and continues to be symbolic of greeting and friendship.
The ornate bronze hand has been reproduced from an antique late Victorian era (1890) brass pipe tamper or wax seal, shown in the last photograph but the original is not available for purchase.
- approximate measurement - 1 7/8" x 1" (50mm x 25mm)
- hand metal - bronze
- photographed with an old US dime for scale
As tobacco became popular, so did the paraphernalia to properly smoke it.
A pipe tamp is a small tool made for the sole purpose of loosely packing, or tamping, tobacco in the small bowl of a pipe before smoking to ensure an even light and draw. Pipe tamps were primarily used by gentlemen and were highly decorative and figural, often reflecting the political atmosphere, gentlemanly pastimes of the day and whatever might be amusing at the time.
Impressed with history!
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