Barry Sturman (Australia)

Exhibit : Bengal matches – a colourful story

I began collecting matchbox labels when I was about 11 years old.  I first became interested in matchboxes when I noticed a matchbox that was made out of thin wood instead of the usual cardboard and had a completely different label from the local “Redheads” brand. For several years I was quite an enthusiastic collector, but eventually gave up the hobby.  For some reason I took it up again in the mid 1980s and since then have accumulated quite a hoard of all sorts of items related to matches.

In my retirement I have been attempting to convert this hoard into a properly organized collection. This exhibit shows what I hope to achieve, but there is a long way to go.  As I am now nearly 75 years old, I regret that I have unwisely accumulated far more material than I am ever likely to have time to sort, catalogue and display.  Disposal of a collection seems to be a perennial problem amongst collectors as old age advances, especially when the family has no interest in the accumulated items.

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