Rosemarie van der Plank (UK)

Exhibit : Indian tin match adverts

Rosemarie founded The Cornish Match Company with her late husband David in 1962, and oversaw its rise to the forefront of the UK match industry during the 1970s. Always collectors and researchers, as well as shrewd business people, the van der Planks created many iconic matchbox labels and skillets for their company, including the Old Cornish Mine and Cornish Wreck series.

On Thursday 13th May 1971 they submitted the first of two trade mark applications for Cowgirl Matches. When the Trade Mark application was originally submitted the Registrar found the art work extremely realistic and asked who the model was and if she had given written permission for her image to be part of the registration. David explained that the person was imaginary and christened her “Samantha” for the registration process. However, the drawing is actually based on Rosemarie.

Newspaper advert for Cornish Match, 1970
Newspaper advert for Cornish Match, 1970

The company often placed newspaper adverts for their products, and in September 1970 this advert for Cowgirl appeared in the West Briton. 

It promised a dinner date with Samantha for the lucky winner of a “Complete the Sentence” competition. 

Rosemarie explained that a gentleman from East Cornwall won the prize and that she did meet him for dinner in a bistro in Penzance dressed in full riding gear and a Stetson. The evening went well and the gentleman later sent David a thank you letter.

The Cornish Match Company ceased trading in 1986.


Rosemarie is a regular contributor to Match Label News and is co-author of a number of phillumeny books, including :

  • The Match Box Collector’s Handbook (1979)
  • The Match Box Label Collectors Index of British Trade Marks (1979) illustrated below, click on an image below to enlarge it

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