French matchbox labels (1830s – 1870s)

1848 cut-panel from Roche & Co (70 x 32 mm)

Exhibitor : Stephane Pinaud

Click here for French language version


The French production in the 19th century is known for very beautiful lithographed boxes and very varied shapes. These pictorial attractions have meant that they have been preserved (completed or cut-panel) and, in fact, we know many of them.


Early manufacturers used much cruder labels and boxes that are much harder to find. What could encourage a person to keep such boxes and labels ? Almost nothing, and I find incredible that such objects have reached us.

So here are some rudimentary labels and boxes from the 1830s to the early 1870s and the establishment of the monopoly. Some manufacturers have chosen to use these boxes and labels until the establishment of the monopoly, probably for cost reasons.

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