A wax jack is a device used to hold wax taper in order to seal documents. The wax taper was coiled around a spindle and it passed through a socket in what resembles an openwork bird cage. Once the wax taper was lit the hot wax would drip onto a small pan at the top of the device. This hot wax was then used to seal documents.

Silver Wax Jack
A late 19th century sterling silver wax jack

Wax jacks date as far back as 1698. They were commonly used on writing desks during the 18th century.

The early wax jacks were made of silver. Some of the later models were made of Sheffield plate, silver plate, pewter, among other metals.


Antique silver wax jacks are rare and they can sell for hundreds of dollars. Some early pieces can sell for over $1,000. Most antique silver plated pieces can sell for over $100.



The Book of Old Silver

See also:

What Is a Chamberstick?