Distilling the essence of a Country onto a label

French matchbox labels, 1970s

Exhibitor : Ian Macilwain

The appeal of matchbox label collecting for me has always been derived from the way in which different countries and cultures represent the same thing.

The style, colour, use of a particular font and level of complexity all reveal something of the national psyche condensed into an extremely small space.


Polish matchbox labels, 1970s



Choosing a subject to demonstrate this was difficult but national costume is a common theme, reflected by the French in a simple classic design and by the Poles in a colourful rhythm as if dancing.




I have many other countries in my collection but for this Exhibition I have chosen those which most appealed to me. I hope they capture your imagination as they did mine. Click on an image below to enlarge it and see the national costumes of each Country.

Click here to return to the Exhibition Catalogue.

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