The wax jack was a container or a support holding up a taper, treated with wax or turpentine, lit to
heat the block of sealing wax used to fasten letters and documents. Usually, a personal seal with a design
cut into the bottom was pressed into the hot wax to leave personal identification. After the seal hardened,
it was almost impossible to secretly open the letter, because the wax would break.
The wax jack was a common endowment for a desk writing set, along with the inkwell, sand
container and bell.
Occasionally wax jacks were used as a mobile light, perhaps because they were more stable than taper
sticks, blew out less easily and gave a better light.
The bougie-box or taper-box was a cylindrical container to hold the wax-taper coil when not in use. The cover was
originally flat and a tube at the top of the cover permitted the coiled taper to emerge. Some had a chain-attached
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