Exhibit : French matchbox labels (1830s – 1870s)
Matchboxes caught my attention when I was 11 years old. I started the collection imitating a cousin. At first it was a game and an excuse to escape from the family farm to explore the shops and tobacco shop.
Exploring the attics didn’t turn out, but I found “Casque d’or” box, dated mid-1920s, in a drawer at my grandparents’ house, a treasure for me at this time !
The virus for good infected me in 1994, at random from a newsstand, when I discovered the existence of L’Association Vitolphilique et Philumenique Francaise (AVPF) through a classified ad from a collector in a specialized newspaper. I was then 22 years old and began to search for old boxes.
I immediately made the choice to limit my collection to complete French boxes and to go back as closely as possible to the origins of this everyday object. My oldest box is from the end of the 1830s.
From before 1950 I have about 3500 complete boxes including 1000 from before the monopoly established in 1872. Over time I have also collected labels, especially for advertising boxes from the 1920s / 1930s some of which are very rare. Since 2008 I have been in charge of writing the magazine of AVPF and since 2011 chairman of the AVPF.
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