LATE 18th EARLY 19th CENTURY ENGLISH BRASS WAX TAPER JACK
In the late 18th and early 19th century letters written, before envelopes existed, were sealed closed by a pool of melted wax into which it was customary to for the writer to impress his personal seal. The wax jack was introduced as a desk top device to facilitate the melting of the sealing wax. It was basically a stand that held a coil of waxed taper-like thread that when lit melted the wax.
The flexible coil of taper is trapped at its upper end in spring tensioned jaws the function of which, besides keeping the taper end vertical, will only permit the taper to burn as far as the jaws should the flame be left burning. The early wax jacks were made of forged iron. In the late 18th century, the use of wax jacks increased dramatically and demand created more elegant forms in brass
Reference: Making Fire and Light in the Home Pre 1820 John Caspall p.227-228
Approximate Dimensions: Height 5.5 inches, Diameter of base 2.5 inches.
Condition: As found, no damage or repairs evident.