Rashel Rahman (Bangladesh)

Exhibit : Scouting in Bangladesh

I am Rashel Rahman, and I am a matchbox collector. I collect anything Scout related.

Some of my scouting items

I have been collecting for the last 25 years and am mainly a dedicated scout item collector. Right now in my collection I have about 15,000 scout items such as Badges, Scarfs, Woggles, Whistle, Compass, Belts etc.

Besides my scout collection I also have 1,000+ matchboxes and matchbooks, 20,000 stamps, 1,500 model cars, 3,000 books and 3,000+ coins.

I am general secretary of the Bangladesh Matchbox Collectors Club. Through this club we are trying to popularize matchbox collecting again in Bangladesh and the world.

I am very happy to participate in this Exhibition.

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Scouting in Bangladesh

Logo of the Bangladesh Scouts

Exhibitor : Rashel Rahman

I have been involved with scouting in Bangladesh from a very young age, and have participated in many scouting activities like seminars and camps. I am also a scout leader. Robert Baden Powell’s Scouting life always inspires me. That’s why I collect matchboxes and other things related to Scouting.

A brief history of Scouting in Bangladesh

Scouting is a movement whose work is teaching through fun. Through this, a boy or a girl becomes a good citizen. “There is immense joy to be savored by joining this movement.“, Robert Stephenson, 1907.

Although Scouting first began in the country in 1914, in April 1972 following liberation Scout leaders from all over the country met in the capital Dhaka and formed the Bangladesh Boy Scout Association. Then in June 1974 the World Organization of Scouts recognized the Bangladesh Scout Association as the 105th member. Later, in June 1978  the name of the association was changed to Bangladesh Scouts. Since 1994 the Association has also focussed on empowering girls.

Bangladesh Scouts started operations with only 56,325 members. By 2017 membership it had grown to 1,682,761 which established Bangladesh as the 5th largest country in the World Scout Organization.

In Bangladesh Scouting is progressing at its own pace. Boys and girls are becoming self-reliant through scouting – their skills are growing through education and also through pure joy.

Set of self-designed boxes celebrating Scouting, 54 x 13 x 36 mm


Commemorative matchboxes

The set of matchboxes on display was designed by me and published by the Bangladesh Matchbox Museum.

This exhibit is my tribute to Lord Baden Powell and Scouting. Thank you.


Click on an image below to enlarge it and see the commemorative matchbox.

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Top Hats

Five Top Hats, showing the size compared to a matchstick with examples of the crests

Exhibitor : Mike Tree

During a recent removal of a large Phillumeny collection from a dear deceased Member’s home, I came across a selection of 10 Crested China Ware ‘Top Hats’ which made me wonder about the history and manufacturers of these items as it seems very little data exists.

Typically with an oval design, resembling a ‘Top Hat’ they measure around 4 x 4.5 cms on the topper base with the brim being around 7 cms x 5 cms, a ribbed striker section on the base, for strike anywhere matches!

Base view with the ribbed striking surfaces and manufacturers markings

Following extensive research, it’s suggested that the general production of similar items was started during the 1880’s by the Stoke On Trent Pottery of  W H Goss to be followed by many various competing producers running through the decades culminating in an end of the craze following the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

The demand was centred around the Tourist market where it was popular craze for visitors to collect souvenirs of their holidays, with a Top Hat bearing the Civic or Heraldic Crest of the site visited being a typical example.


Top view, showing the capacity for around 100 matches

The identification of the manufacturers is somewhat awkward to establish with any certainty given the lack of markings, however, firms competing with W H Goss included Carlton, Shelley, Grafton, Savoy, Swan, Willow Art, and Arkinstall’s Arcadian ware.

One such clear base marking is ‘Gemma’ indicating the manufacturer to be the Czechoslavakian, porcelain factory of Lazarus & Rosenfield (founded in 1883) which was bought in 1885 by Franz Schmidt. 

It is therefore clear that the craze for Crested China ware had indeed attracted foreign production with Imports to supply the market demand alongside that enjoyed by the traditional Staffordshire producers.

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Mohammad Jamal Uddin (Bangladesh)

Exhibit : Bangladesh Liberation War

My name is Mohammad Jamal Uddin, I am a collector and work for a private Television channel as a news editor. I started my collection when I was seven years old, some stamps and coins from Saudi Arabs were my first collection. For the last 4 years I have been collecting matchboxes around the globe. I also collect Banknotes and coins.

I am a member of the Bangladesh Matchbox Collectors Club which is the first and only matchbox collectors club in Bangladesh. 

It’s truly fascinating collecting matchboxes. I’d like to thank BML&BS for arranging such a great exhibition for the world matchbox collectors. I am very happy to be one of the participants here. Thank you.

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Bangladesh Liberation War

Matchbox showing the Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971

Exhibitor : Mohammad Jamal Uddin

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a country in South Asia. It is the third most populous Muslim country in the world, which had to fight hard for its independence. My exhibit tells the story of gaining independence, illustrated on a set of commemorative matchboxes.

Partition of India, 1947

After the end of British colonial rule in 1947 the Indian subcontinent was divided into two countries named India and Pakistan, and Pakistan consisted of two separate provinces : West Pakistan and East Bengal (renamed as East Pakistan in 1952).

Map showing East and West Pakistan

The Dominion of Pakistan was composed of various ethnic and linguistic groups, with East Bengal having a mainly Bengali population.

In 1948, the Government of the Dominion of Pakistan ordained that Urdu would be the sole national language in East Bengal, as part of its policy of Islamization and Arabization. It also declared that Bengali should be written in Arabic script.

This sparked extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Bengal who became increasingly angry at their exploitation and oppression at the hands of the Pakistani government.


Bengali language movement, 1952

Bengali Language Movement protests

The Bengali language movement was a political movement in East Pakistan advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language to be used in government affairs, education, media, currency and stamps, and to maintain its writing in the Bengali script.

Facing rising sectarian tensions and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed public meetings and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest on 21 February 1952. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators on that day. The deaths provoked widespread civil unrest.

After years of conflict, the central government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language in 1956.

War of Independence, 1971

The elections of 1970 were a turning point in the country’s struggle for independence. Although the Awami League won the majority, the military junta refused to hand over power. As there was no agreement the then President of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan, arrested the undisputed leader of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, late on the night of 25 March 1971, and the Pakistani army began indiscriminate attacks on Bengalis as part of Operation Searchlight. This was the start of the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Liberation Day

Independence was officially declared on 26th March 1971, but it took another 9 months to achieve liberation from Pakistan. A provisional government was formed under the leadership of Syed Nazrul Islam. Freedom fighters took up arms to liberate the country under the leadership of Ataul Gani Usmani, the commander-in-chief of the liberation war. The freedom fighters of Bangladesh fought continuously for 9 months and defeated the Pakistani forces in December 1971. Through this, the independent, sovereign state of Bangladesh was established.

Every year 26th March is celebrated as Independence Day and 16th December as Victory Day in this country. Also, 21 February (Ekushey February) is observed as Language Movement Day, a national holiday and in 1999 UNESCO declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day.

Commemorative matchboxes

A set of 10 matches has been made with images of some momentous events in the Liberation War. This historic matchbox set was created by the Bangladesh Matchbox Museum, which has been making matchboxes for matchbox collectors’ since 2015 and has so far produced more than 600 designs. It should be noted that Bangladesh Matchbox Museum Bangladesh is the first and only institution that produces matches only for collectors.

Click on an image in the gallery below to enlarge it and see the commemorative matchbox.

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Al-Razee Anonnya (Bangladesh)

Exhibit : Swedish favourites

My name is Al-Razee Anonnya, but I’m better known as Robert Burns. This is because I’m an ardent follower of Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland and one of the greatest poets of English literature from the romantic era. I studied enthusiastically about him and his poetry which still I do. Therefore my friends from home and abroad started calling me “Robert Burns”.

I am a matchbox and label collector, and started collecting in March 2018. Today I have over 7,000 matchboxes and around 10,000 labels in my collection.

I am the joint secretary of Bangladesh Matchbox Collectors’ Club (BMCC). BMCC frequently publishes different souvenir matchboxes on different subjects and I am also a part of this project of publishing new matchboxes as I write miniature history which are depicted on the matchboxes about the subject of those matchboxes.

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Argentinian Beauties

Five Argentinian Beauties matchboxes, unidentified artists

Exhibitor : Fernán Pacheco

I met these beauties on a trip to Buenos Aires. It was love at first sight. It corresponds to a series of female artists of the Golden Era.  From 1880 to 1930, Argentina became a leading destination for immigrants from Europe, particularly Italy and Spain. Buenos Aires became a multicultural city that ranked itself alongside the major European capitals. During this time, the Colón Theater became one of the world’s top opera venues, and the city became the regional capital  of radiotelevisioncinema, and theater in Argentina.

They are cardboard boxes with wax matches under the Gloria brand, manufactured by the Compañía General de Fósforos de Sudamerica. The company was born around 1890 and was the product of the union of the companies Bolondo, Lavigne y Cía (1878) and A. Dellachá and Hermano (1882), the latter founded by Cayetano Dellachá, an immigrant who had directed the match factory that his brother Ambrosio owned in Moncalieri (Turin).

The boxes are complete and with an unbroken 2 1/4 cent tax stamp, something exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to find these days, hence I consider it the “jewel of my collection”.  I am pleased to exhibit this material as it represents a connection between the hobbies that I am enthusiastic about : phillumeny and philately, in particular, revenue stamps.

Nine of the boxes indicate the name of the artist, the other five do not. I estimate that the series is from the 30’s or 40’s. As I do not have much information about them, I made a trip in the past to remember these forgotten artists and thanks to the Internet I collected the following information.

Adelina Morelli


Adelina Morelli (1898-1950).  Soprano. Studied piano and graduated as a concert pianist with a gold medal. Her debut as a lyrical singer was in 1918 in the city of Montevideo singing Rigoletto.  In 1922 she made her debut at the famous Teatro Colón, where years later she was the star in the premiere of Fedra

Adhelma Falcón


Adhelma Falcón (1902 –1987) Tango singer.  She made her debut on Radio Belgrano’s “Hora Geniol” in 1931. Her beauty made her worthy of being the cover of magazines on more than one occasion.  She had a romantic relationship with the tango singer Charlo in the 1930s, a relationship that would have been interrupted when the singer met Sabina Olmos.

Pepita Muñoz


Pepita Muñoz (1899- 1984).  Actress.   She began her artistic career in the circus.  In 1934 she made her first film appearance in Under the Holy Federation, by Daniel Tinayre. She always acted in supporting actress roles, she excelled in comedy and dramatic movies.  She participated in 41 films.  She also participated on radio, cinema, theater and television.

Maria Esther Pomar


Maria Esther Pomar (1896-1983).  Actress.  At the age of 3 she began her artistic career in the circus as a Creole singer.   She then went to the theater where she toured internationally.  During the silent period in cinematography, she stood out for her great beauty and was considered the one with “the most beautiful eyes” (until the 1930s, when she began to compete with Amelia Bence).

Isabel Marengo


Isabel Marengo (1897-1977).   She was a renowned lyrical soprano, the first to have that vocal status in her country. She lived most of her life in the town of Temperley. She carried out her musical studies at the Carlos Lopez Buchardo Conservatory and she debuted in 1926 at the Teatro Colón as Micaela in Carmen.

Olga Casares Pearson


Olga Casares Pearson (1895-1979) was an actress with a career as a theater, radio and film actress. She was born in Italy; she was brought from a very young age to Argentina. She worked on the radio with great success forming a couple with her husband Ángel Walk and in 1933 they composed the first star couple of an adventure radio drama called Yankar. 

Evita Franco


Evita Franco (1906-1999), better known as Eva Franco, was an Argentine actress who stood out in theater, film and television. She appeared in more than 200 plays and 22 films. She stood out as an exceptional actress from the beginning of 1923, when she was 16 years old, in the theater company directed by her father.

Paulina Singerman


Paulina Singerman (1911-1984) Television and theater actress.  In cinema she generally played capricious millionaires’ characters in comedies produced by Lumiton, showing a surprising talent for the genre. She participated in 10 films.  After her film career, she stood out in theater and on television until her last days. In 1981 she received a Platinum Konex Award and a Diploma of Merit for Best Comedy Actress.

Leonor Rinaldi


Leonor Rinaldi (1894-1977).  Comic actress of film, radio, theater and television. She began her career in farce and as an extra in a Philo dramatic group, making her professional debut in theater in 1918. From a very young age and due to her physical build, she always played the role of a character actress. Her stocky body, prone to obesity, which gave her an older appearance, made her generally play mother-in-law or mother even from actresses who were older than her.


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