Born in San José, Costa Rica, in September 1964. I started collecting matchboxes and labels in 2016. I never collected anything in my life until in 2006 when I became “hooked” with revenue stamp collecting, a branch little known and even despised by traditional postal stamp collectors. As a lawyer and notary I fell in love with those fiscal stamps that are stuck to documents. Since then I have assembled a great collection from Costa Rica, exhibited internationally and written for multiple magazines, including for The Revenue Journal from The Revenue Society, of which I have been a member since 2008.
When my collection from Costa Rica was almost complete, I became interested in tax stamps that do not adhere to documents but to objects, which are the rarest. These stamps are meant to be destroyed in the moment the bottle, cigarette pack, deck of playing cards or matchbox is opened, hence few survive.
I liked how the stamps looked on the labels and in some time I discovered this nice and peculiar hobby.
I quickly realized that it is impossible to collect “the whole world” so, in addition to the labels with tax stamps, I focused on Latin America countries, my favourites being Argentina, Cuba and Mexico.
My name is Detlef Zschiegner, born 1956 in Altenburg (Thuringia), where I still live to this day. I have been collecting match labels and matchboxes since 1968, with a focus on the labels.
At the beginning of May 2021, the collection consisted of around 97,000 items, including around 5,000 book detonators and boxes and around 92,000 labels. The most intense period of my collecting activity was between 1968 and 1990, when I was a member of the AG-Phillumenie Altenburg and also took part in the annual exhibitions.
In the period from 1991 to 2016, I was only able to look after my collection very sporadically for professional reasons. Since 2017, more intensive collecting has been an integral part of my life again. In 2021 I was the only collector from Germany to take part in the first international online matchbox and match label exhibition, which was organized by the Bangladesh Matchbox Collector’s Club (BMCC) from January 1st to 15th, 2021. In July 2021 I took the opportunity to attend the Phillonex exhibition run by the Swiss Match Museum.
In addition to a large number of different national collections, the focus of my work as a collector is on my motif collections. These are:
Coats of arms and flags
Fire protection + accident prevention & traffic education & architecture
My collecting of bookmatches started, possibly, like other collectors did by collecting bookmatches that were free in various businesses. These were often found on the edges of ashtrays on bars, hotel reception desks and the like. I collected this way for many years until I read an article in the press that a meeting of phillumenists was being held in Croydon, Surrey. This was in 1995.
I attended the meeting and was amazed at the vast array and quantity of bookmatches, labels, skillets and ARTB’s. It was from this meeting that I decided to specialise in collecting only Bryant & May from the various factories/countries. I also made the decision to only collect complete, unstruck bookmatches.
I have been a member of the Society since then and President of the BML&BS since 2011.
It was 1960 when as a 9-year-old boy walking to school that I kicked over a matchbox in the gutter only to find that it had a picture on it (Brymay Birds & Animals issue) so took it to school, showed my mates and we started collecting. They soon lost interest and so I acquired their holdings to complete my set.
I had a Great Aunt in the UK who also sent me labels and so my collection slowly grew. The labels were soaked off and pasted in an exercise book.
In 1967, I learnt of the existence of the Australian Match Cover Collectors Society (AMCCS) through a work colleague of my late father at Parker Brothers Bakery who took his son to the meetings. This was to be the start of a life-long passion for the hobby.
In 1970, this Profile was published in the AMCCS magazine, the Observer and yes, I did meet a “little Miss” marrying Dianne in 1977. Children followed in 1981 & 1983 and three grandsons in 2014, 2019 & 2020.
COMMITTEE SERVICE, ETC.
Secretary AMCCS (SA) 1984-1986
President AMCCS (SA) 1987 to present
Observer Editor May 1990 to February 1999
Life Membership AMCCS 2002
Observer Distributor since 2009
Annual Postal Auction Coordinator since 2009
Coordinator of National Match Exhibitions held in Adelaide in 1999, 2003, 2009, 2014, 2018 & 2021
Attendee & Trader at BML&BS Exhibitions held in 2000, 2005, 2009 & 2017
Collecting areas for labels, booklets & skillets are Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea & South Africa. World-wide hardware produced by or for the match manufacturers together with any ephemera allied to the match industry, particularly picture postcards are also collected.
PUBLICATIONS & ARTICLES
Author of –
Duncan’s of Australia
E.L. Bell & Co, Australian Match Works & Commonwealth Match Works
Co-Author/Contributor to –
Bryant & May Australia Parts 1 & 2
Federal Match Company, Australia
The Cheapies (Imports to Australia)
Numerous articles in the Observer, Match Label News & IMSA News
I live in the city of Adelaide in South Australia and have been collecting now for over 40 years. It started for me when I would walk to primary school and would see any discarded matchboxes on the street. When my brother was hospitalized for asthma as a child my parents encouraged him to collect matchbox labels as well to pass the time.
My interest blossomed whereas my brother lost interest and I was also given my uncle’s collection which helped me with some older labels. My parents owning a delicatessen gave me an opportunity to get new additions plus my uncle in his travels would bring home matchboxes as well.
I joined the Australian Match Cover Collectors Society in 1982 after placing a question to the “What’s Your Problem” section of the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper and from there I gained a lot of knowledge and expanded my collection. In 2014 I was awarded Life Membership of the Society.
Over the years I have diversified into advertising, match tins, and match strikers of which I have around 400. I also collect grips and have around 850 of them. I collect mainly from Australia, Great Britain, USA, Canada, Holland, New Zealand and Sweden. One of my recent interests is bookmatch and slimline series which are the subject of this Exhibit.
In recent times with the pandemic, having a hobby has been a godsend. I hope you enjoy what I do and hope you enjoy my Exhibits.
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.
I have been a collector for over 30 years. My early interest involves numismatic and philatelic items.
About 8 years ago, I started to pursue phillumeny interest in earnest. Why? As a collector, I was looking for tantalizing factors of something being interesting, teasingly challenging, valuable, historically beneficial perhaps or artistically profound, with the bottom line being simply: satisfying and fun. Phillumeny satisfies all those criteria.
My phillumeny collection is geographically focused towards anything Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia originated or related.
I founded and maintain several online pages including:
Here is our Exhibition Catalogue. The Exhibits are listed in alphabetical order, click on a link below to access an Exhibit or read an Exhibitor’s biography. An asterisk indicates that the Exhibit is available in dual language.
Enjoy our Exhibition, and we encourage you to sign our Visitor Book and let us know what you think and don’t forget to vote for your favourite Exhibit.
Inspired by a friend who had just started to collect matchboxes, my collection started on the 7th April 1966, at the age of 14.
The initial collection, included matchboxes and cigarette packets. However, I soon decided to concentrate on matchboxes. Not only complete matchboxes, also the labels, bookmatch covers, match hardware, in fact any item connected to the match industry. My collection still remains a general collection, although I have a special interest in a number subjects. These include Spanish (1840s-1950s), labels marked Foreign Made, and the brand Swan Vestas. I also have a deep interest in the older issues of countries such as Mexico, France, Italy, Cuba, and some Central & South American countries, as well as the older British matchboxes and labels.
In 1972, as part of my mechanical engineering studies at college, I was required to give a lecture to the other students. The research for this led to the discovery of the existence of the “British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society” (BML&BS), now known as the “British Matchbox Label & Bookmatch Society”, through two books written by Joan Rendell. I joined the BML&BS in October 1972 and have remained a member ever since.
My interest in phillumeny has allowed me to see some impressive collections by visiting many fellow collectors and attending meetings in a number of countries in Europe. This has enriched my life and I have gained many friends directly because of this hobby.
I have been part of the committee of the BML&BS since 1995, and from October 2006 I have been the Editor of the “Match Label News”, their magazine.