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What did I buy? keywords: shaving stick holder, Warszawa, Polish, silver plated

I popped into a shop that has a bit of everything old & used - ranging from legitimate antiques to stuff that should be at a flea market or garage sale. They had quite a bit of shaving gear, mostly old straights and worn out brushes, nothing that caught my eye too much, until I saw this (pics attached below). Their own tag said: "Vintage Warszawa Polish shaving stick holder (?)" - the question mark was theirs, not my addition.

It's about 1.5" in diameter, just under 3" long, very tight seal in about the middle. I believe it is silver plated and in relatively good condition.

Anyone have any insight as to what I bought? If it is a shaving stick holder, then how come the seam is in the middle? This would leave quite a bit of shaving stick inaccessible. Hoping someone on here can shed some light, thanks!

DSC_0467[1].JPG DSC_0468[1].JPG DSC_0469[1].JPG
 
Maybe it's a shave stick case? Like with an alum block, you pull it out entirely when you go to use it? Alternatively, do we actually have any reason to suspect that the object is shaving-related, aside from a hand-written sign of dubious authority?
 
That is a neat piece.
I searched as far as I was able and only ever got references to Warszawa (Warsaw), Poland, an album by Praxis, tin toys made in Warsaw and and a car of the same name.
I would hypothesize that, given it's dimensions (squat and wide) and half and half opening style, it is not shaving related. Given it's lack of holes, it was probably not intended to carry something damp, but given it's design; it was probably meant to be used to protect something that was intended to be used relatively often and accessed with ease... Or an overbuilt single use product container.

I realize this is of no actual help, nor does it answer your question, which has been bothering me now for a couple days.
It's a cool tin and would work well for carrying any brush that would fit inside, a shaving stick or powder in a travel kit. It would even be a great place to store spare blades in a travel kit.
 
Maybe it's a shave stick case? Like with an alum block, you pull it out entirely when you go to use it? Alternatively, do we actually have any reason to suspect that the object is shaving-related, aside from a hand-written sign of dubious authority?

You're correct - there is no real reason to assume it is shaving related. And while I consciously knew that when I bought it, if it hadn't had the hand-written sign and placed with the other shaving gear, I would have just walked on by and never gave it a second thought.

That is a neat piece.
I searched as far as I was able and only ever got references to Warszawa (Warsaw), Poland, an album by Praxis, tin toys made in Warsaw and and a car of the same name.
I would hypothesize that, given it's dimensions (squat and wide) and half and half opening style, it is not shaving related. Given it's lack of holes, it was probably not intended to carry something damp, but given it's design; it was probably meant to be used to protect something that was intended to be used relatively often and accessed with ease... Or an overbuilt single use product container.

I realize this is of no actual help, nor does it answer your question, which has been bothering me now for a couple days.
It's a cool tin and would work well for carrying any brush that would fit inside, a shaving stick or powder in a travel kit. It would even be a great place to store spare blades in a travel kit.

I like your logic, especially the fact that there are no holes to let moisture escape. But I am pretty sure from the tarnish/patina that it is silver plated, so I think that rules out a single-use container. I also like your thought process that it is for something accessed relatively often. If it was a more permanent container it could have been threaded or something like that to guarantee it remained closed.

Do you think it might of been used to carry wooden matches in?

That's an interesting idea - I wonder if the ridged centre strip is not just for grip to pull apart, but if it would work to strike a match across? It did cross my mind that maybe it had some type of tobacco relation - a tin for pipe tobacco or something like that.

Thanks for all the mental effort that has gone into this curiosity! I'm glad I picked it up, even if just for the mystery of it alone.
 
I like your logic, especially the fact that there are no holes to let moisture escape. But I am pretty sure from the tarnish/patina that it is silver plated, so I think that rules out a single-use container. I also like your thought process that it is for something accessed relatively often. If it was a more permanent container it could have been threaded or something like that to guarantee it remained closed.



That's an interesting idea - I wonder if the ridged centre strip is not just for grip to pull apart, but if it would work to strike a match across? It did cross my mind that maybe it had some type of tobacco relation - a tin for pipe tobacco or something like that.

Thanks for all the mental effort that has gone into this curiosity! I'm glad I picked it up, even if just for the mystery of it alone.
I would agree on the point that it was not likely a single use item via the very nice build quality and silver plating, but I have seen very nice containers singularly built to deliver high end items. That being said, I brought it up as a possibility not a probability.

A match tin is a possiblilty, but I have a blade holder in my collection that was used to strike matches on. Doing so damaged the silver plating along the striking surface and severely tarnished the surrounding area. It is not likely in the condition it is in to have been used.
I have seen phosphorous matches discolor or eat away at silver linings, and sulphurous matches discolor the inside of silver match cases.
Newer matches would require a chemical striking medium, which would be of phosphorous, and would create the same issue.
If it is a match safe, it was barely or not at all used.

Given it's roughly half and half nature, I'm trying to come up with something that would be appropriate to be in the case. Removing the top to expose a handle to be lifted out or product to be used while holding on to the bottom would be appropriate. Nothing wet with water, or made of reactive to silver material, nice enough to be put in a silver case, ease of use but no need to be secured from opening randomly, and of the dimensions...
I wonder if it's not an optics case like for an an eyepiece for a microscope or telescope.
I'm afraid I just don't know enough about industry in Warsaw to really know.
 
So my landlord stopped by the other day to fix something (and I gather he is a bit of an antiques collector) and when he spotted this on the shelf he asked what it was. I told him I didn't know, and without any prompting he immediately said he thought it was to carry matches in. So there's a couple independent opinions that this may be what it is. Just perhaps never used and that's why the plating is in such good shape.
 
After some light research (read: Wikipedia) I'm leaning towards gently used match container. According to what I read, the strike anywhere matches used to be kept in airtight metal containers. This does seem to be the right size and shape for a "travel" pack. Unrelated trivia: around the turn of the century a common slang term for matches was "lucifers."
 
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