Exhibitor : Navneet Kulkarni
My collection journey began with tearing off the matchboxes and retain only front side, to present, when I try to get and keep all matchboxes intact, with trays. Also, as years passed by, I developed a taste for matchboxes that are unusual in one way or another.
For example, these cardboard matchboxes mean a lot to me because those are the games that we used to play in our childhood. All are very inexpensive games, require no or very little props like just some stick or just a ball or seeds from certain trees. I feel nostalgic looking at the set.
I enjoy different shapes like pyramids, cylinders, triangles or different sizes from very small (< 1 inch) to very large (~10 inches) or different materials (plastic, wood, leather, metal etc.). Come, have a glimpse at some of the beauties in my collection. Click on an image to enlarge it.
The Air India matchboxes are made of high-quality plastic. It is a set of five, I have two. Once upon a time, the “Maharaja” of Air India was very famous.
The “Taj Mahal” and “Gold flake” are tin metal covers prevalent before 4-5 decades. They were used to protect the matchbox (to some extent !) from moisture and rain.
The “Flint matches” is a very unusual type. It is also called “survival matches”. The striking surface is Magnesium, and the stick has Iron tip. When struck against each other, they produce sparks that ignite the cotton at the tip of the stick. The box itself can be filled with Petrol/similar liquid.
The next one by Hay Design, Denmark is very unusual. The philosophy of the creator is- The main purpose of the matchbox is to generate fire. So why not make the striking surfaces Hero rather than putting them on the side and have some picture in the front. And indeed, the striking surface excels as the front surface.
The Lithuanian matchbox (mentioning Litetuva) has a beautiful leather surface. The matchbox looks and feels far better in reality than in picture. The leather is very soft to touch. Next come the longest and the shortest matchboxes I have. The difference is very prominent when kept side by side.
Next come the beautiful Czech wooden matchboxes depicting the art of Alphonse Mucha. The perpendicular wooden surfaces are interlaced with each other, and the matchboxes are very heavy (compared to any other matchbox).
Next come the longest and the shortest matchboxes I have. The difference is very prominent when kept side by side. The pyramid like shape of “I love Vienna” matchboxes is called “Tent matches”.
The last one is unusual when it comes to sticks. The stick is made up of wax and the matchbox says, “Bend the stick in three places and use it to light oil stoves and lamps”.
There are many more that are so unique, and I would love to share the joy of showing them to you. Maybe someday!
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