Exhibitor Biography 2023

Vladimír Steiner (Czech Republic)

Exhibit : Sets of Six

I am 75 years old and I collect matchbox labels from my youth. I started collecting labels issued for the Czechoslovak domestic market and later I continued with the Czechoslovak labels for export.

In the last 50 years I have been collecting all labels from the former Austro-Hungarian empire.

This hobby brings me great pleasure and I make friends with many collectors in my country as well as abroad. I am member of the British Matchbox Label and Bookmatch Society.

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Tom O’Key (USA)

Exhibit : Döbereiner Lighters

I collect objects and information related to specific areas of interest, where innovation in fire making is concerned. After fifty years being engaged with the subject, in a very broad sense, my focus has settled on innovations created during the age of enlightenment, and until the beginning of the twentieth century.

Some of my lighters

 

My collection has evolved as knowledge and opportunities emerged. Information and new examples have connected enough evidence to say that a better understanding of the industry that developed and what impacts took place, as result. With that, my concentration on these interesting lighters has produced the gathering I have included in my Exhibit. 

 

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Stephane Pinaud (France)

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.

Casque d'or label, 50 x 35 mm
Casque d’or label, 50 x 35 mm

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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Takeshi Yokomizo (Japan)

Exhibit : The enduring Umakubi (Horse Head) brand

Boxes of matches used to be a familiar printed matter and were regarded fondly by people. But as a throw-away object, their life tends to be short. I embrace their fate and continue to collect them as a record of our everyday life.

Japan export to Europe, Meiji - Taisho era, 37 x 56 mm
Japan export to Europe, Meiji – Taisho era, 37 x 56 mm

I have been collecting for 30 years (labels and skillets 50,000+).

My collection mainly focuses on Japanese labels for export matchboxes in the Meiji – Taisho era (1868 – 1926).

I am also interested in Japanese advertisement matchboxes used for pro-war propaganda produced just before Japan’s defeat in WWII.

 

 

Some of these labels are shown in the gallery below, click on an image to enlarge it.

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Stefan Joset (Switzerland)

Exhibit : The Swiss Chamois

My name is Stefan Joset, I am 64 years old and already retired. I live in Switzerland in a village near Basel, where I grew up. I have been a collector for as long as I can remember. It started with postage stamps, collected all advertising art from banana labels to beer mats and over the years it has all taken up way too much space. That’s why I reduced my collections and now specialize only in Swiss matchbooks, Swiss chocolate wrappers and Liebig pictures (trade cards).

Here are a few examples of Liebig pictures and chocolate wrappers (more information on the chocolate wrappers can be found here).

In my free time, I am still in charge of the Swiss Match Museum and mainly take care of sorting, archiving and cataloguing our collection and exhibits. In addition, I take care of the homepage and organize the international exhibition Phillonex every year.

I really like the variety and rich colours of the Swiss bookmatches, which are decorated with a local animal, the chamois. For decades, this trademark was emblazoned on the products of our then largest match factory in Switzerland.

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Simon Blackman (UK)

Exhibit : Indian Forest Memoirs

I was introduced to the collecting of matchboxes, matchbooks, labels and more by a family friend who had worked in the Far East and who had a nice album of labels and skillets from Hong Kong that he would show me occasionally. Early on I fell into the same trap as many fledgling collectors with skillets thinned and trimmed; matchbooks bobtailed; and everything stuck into albums with rubber glue and Sellotape. So, 10 years in, my collection had to be thrown out and I started all over again!  

In the intervening years I had come across a presentation pack from the Cornish Match obtained when I went to Cornwall on holiday; and learned of the existence of the British Matchbox Label and Booklet Society. A lifetime friendship with David Van Der Plank would later follow.

Three complete rare Indian matchboxes, from WIMCO

 

Initially I started collecting Indian labels because they were cheap, numerous in number and easy to purchase.

Slowly I branched out to other Asian countries though, somehow, I have never had the desire to collect labels from Japan or Sri Lanka (Ceylon). 

Gradually I became more interested in researching matchbox history and making my findings available to other collectors.

Two pages from my book

 

I was in an advantageous situation as my daytime job as a computer support officer at the University of Liverpool allowed me access to research resources only available to academics. I then took night school classes in Mandarin Chinese so that I could understand labels bearing Chinese characters. A book followed (“Towards a Better Understanding of Chinese Matchbox Labels: A Beginners Guide to Translation”) and now that I have retired am working on updating and extending it.

Today I am as interested in researching the history of match manufacture as collecting matchbox labels!

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Shakil Huq (Bangladesh)

Exhibit : Two inspiring artists

Hello, This is Shakil Huq from Bangladesh. I am a matchbox collector and I have been collecting for a decade. 

I’m a very passionate matchbox collector. I can’t think of a day without a matchbox. I design matchboxes as well, and have designed more than five hundred matchboxes to date. 

I have my own Blog and YouTube channel about matchbox collecting, and I have also been president of the Bangladesh Matchbox Collectors Club since 2016.

I hope you like my exhibit. Thank you. 

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Phil Stringer (UK)

Exhibit : Extraordinary Matches 

I collect many things but matchbox labels and related items hold my strongest interest. Having been involved in the hobby for more than fifty years I find myself particularly interested in the weird and wonderful and in this respect phillumeny doesn’t disappoint, I still find things that I would never even imagined could exist. 

T B Industries type holder (140 x 50 x 50 mm)

 

Over the years I’ve amassed collections from an eclectic range of subjects including postage stamps, revenue stamps, fiscal documents, embossed crests and monograms, post cards, cigarette cards, beer mats, dice, coins, bank notes, bullets, Magazine of Art Annuals, Majolica green leaf plates, Portmeirion Totem ware, Irish wade ceramics, Holkham Pottery mugs, custard cups, bottles, fossils, rocks and crystals, shells, exotic seed heads, taxidermy, carved ebony elephants, Japanese lacquer ware, plus many sundry items that draw my attention but are insufficient in number to be described as collections.

 

 

Bryant & May matchbox dispensers (530 x 65 x 60 mm and 530 x 95 x 60 mm)
Some curious striking tubes (58 x 38 x 25 mm)
A match striker (150 x 80 x 110 mm)

 

 

Top of the list as my main and most extensive collectable interest is matchbox labels and other match related items especially the obscure and unusual.

 

 

 

 

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Mike Tree (UK)

Exhibit : Attema 75

I was born in 1954 at Boston in Lincolnshire  and have been collecting matchboxes & labels since the early 1960’s, when my Grandfather took me on walks around the local seaport – Boston Dock. This was instrumental in introducing me to matchboxes which were very often given to me (as presents) from crews on the visiting coasters.  The many and varied nationalities were indeed a good source and in particular the Russian and Dutch ships proved to be a prolific supply of new items.

One such fleet worthy of mention is that of the Geest North Sea Line, where a group of 5 sister vessels made weekly calls into the Port, and this resulted in numerous bags and boxes of matchboxes being collected for my ever growing collection.

Having been invited onboard on several occasions this culminated in sea voyages to Holland and spending holidays with families in the Rotterdam area. Needless to say my collection of Dutch items increased significantly during the 1960’s decade.

In the following years my collection has now increased significantly to include worldwide labels and skillets and continues to grow month by month.  I  have a keen interest in Dutch issues together with Belgian, Australian, Russian, UK market such as Cornish Match, Matchmakers, Bryant and May, England’s Glory and really any other appealing origins.

I recall these are 2 of the earliest Russian labels given to me from a visiting coaster
I recall these are 2 of the earliest Russian labels given to me from a visiting coaster
Examples of the first Dutch labels
Examples of the first Dutch labels which had me wondering how many there may be in this set, especially as numbering bearing A, B, C, D & E prefixes were being acquired!
Another Russian treasure
Another Russian treasure acquired and followed by other images in the set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mike Pryor (UK)

Exhibit : Holloway’s Pills and Ointments

Specialism – Spain

Since meeting the legendary collector and founder of the Cornish Match Company in 1971, David van der Plank, I have had a deep interest in Spanish Matchboxes and the history of the Spanish Match industry which began in 1836.

Gremio box, ca. 1895
Gremio box, ca. 1895

My collection contains Spanish examples from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and although the majority of these are labels I do have a good number of beautiful complete boxes.

Like most collectors I also have many examples from other countries, and prefer complete boxes wherever possible. I also always enjoy exchanging information with other collectors and learning new things about our wonderful hobby of phillumeny.

 

Publications and Web sites

I write regular articles for the Match Label News, which is the journal of the British Matchbox Label and Bookmatch Society.

I have also developed two web sites which focus on specific aspects of my collection :

  • Gross packet label, a few Spanish Inserts
    Gross packet label, a few Spanish Inserts

    The Old Cornish Mine web site describes the history of the series which first got me interested in collecting, and shows illustrations of all the labels known to have been issued www.old-Cornish-mines.co.uk

  • Spanish Matchbox Inserts (Fototipias) web site is dedicated to the history and beauty of the Insert cards which were issued in Spanish matchboxes between 1897 and 1910 www.inserts.org.uk

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MD Abid Mallick (Bangladesh)

Exhibit : The last five matchboxes in Bangladesh

From my childhood I used to play with matchbox covers. It was not only me in the 1980s, many kids were familiar with this childhood game memory. It was a very popular game to play with matchbox covers here in Bangladesh, but after a while I found that some of the matchbox covers were not available, as we know matchboxes are throwaway objects and their life tends to be short. Then I tried to start collecting a keep them safely.

As a collector my early interest involved numismatic and philatelic items but now realise Phillumeny satisfies me in many ways. All the phillumenists I have met have been supportive and I am particularly grateful for the encouragement and ongoing gifts towards my collection.

My collection mainly focuses on Bangladesh matchboxes, but I also collect Bangladesh promotional matchboxes, foreign bookmatches and labels and I have been collecting match-related items for over 18 years. I am also interested in advertisement matchboxes and a few other themes like motorbikes and cars, women on matchbox covers, cartoons, film, film, movies, cinema, theatre, actors, actresses etc. I have over 3000 items in my collection.

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Masud Ahmed (Bangladesh)

Exhibit : Automobiles

I’m Masud Ahmed, 56, from Bangladesh. I have been collecting match boxes and labels for the past 6 years besides my other collectable addictions. I am also a founder member of Bangladesh Matchbox Collectors Club (BMCC).

Beside my business I spend a lot of time in collecting items all around Bangladesh and the world. It is very fascinating to me to be in this hobby and to be able to share my passion with others.

I greatly enjoy sorting my collection and to make gorgeous albums to share with other like-minded collectors and for display in exhibitions.

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José Ventura García (Spain)

Exhibit : The man who designed Spain (also designed matchboxes)

In 1968 while I was working in a jewellery shop in the Plaza de Chueca, Madrid, another apprentice who was there with me gave me a box of matches. It was “El Augusto”, a clown drawn only with geometric strokes by Cruz Novillo + Olmos. The box immediately caught my attention, and I decided there and then that I was going to collect them because I thought that no one else would collect them and that I was inventing a new hobby, and although it obviously wasn’t true that was how my collecting adventure began over 53 years ago.

Behind the Plaza de Chueca is Pelayo street where you could find a tobacconist’s kiosk, and on the outside of which was a vending machine which sold boxes of matches from Fósforos del Pirineo for 1 peseta each. Whenever I had any spare money I would buy boxes and quickly noticed that they all showed different characters, people and animals related to the circus, and I kept on buying them until I had collected all 20 different boxes in the Series. The tobacconist was still there in 2015, and although the vending machine is long gone I am lucky enough to now have one in my collection.

My first box (El Augusto)
My first box (El Augusto)
My first three Series : the Circus, Balloons and ABC animals, in their souvenir packaging 
My first three Series : the Circus, Balloons and ABC animals, in their souvenir packaging 
Fósforos del Pirineo vending machine
Fósforos del Pirineo vending machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I now specialise in collecting Spanish matchboxes and studying the Spanish matchbox industry.

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Joel Viana de Lemos (Portugal)

Exhibit : The Portuguese presence in India

I have residency in Lisbon, Portugal but I am currently living in Växjo, Sweden.

I was born in 1955 and started collecting matchbox labels and matchbooks when I was about 4 years old. Knowing about my interest in the hobby some of the phillumenists in the city of Porto encouraged me with some interesting offers. The publication in 1962 of the first catalogue of matchbox labels in Portugal allowed me to properly organize my collection. The 2nd edition of the catalogue published in 1965 and the monthly edition of the magazine “Filumenismo” gave a great boost to my development as a phillumenist. 

I went on to specialise in all the material related to Portugal or that circulated in the Portuguese market and its colonies, namely Macau. My collection of Italian matchboxes/panels that circulated in Portugal in the 19th Century is very significant and formed the basis of my Exhibit in 2021.

I am a founding partner of the APF – “Associação Portuguesa de Filumenismo” (founded in 1972), and currently its President.

I have published the following phillumenistic works, which can be purchased from APF :

  • Catalogue of Portuguese Matchbox Labels. Edition 1992 (co-author, text in Portuguese):
  • Catalogue of Matchbox Labels – Companhia Portugueza de Phosphoros – Series – 1895-1926. 1st edition 2003; 2nd edition 2008; 3rd edition 2020
  • Catalogue of Matchbox Labels – Portugal – XIX century. 1st edition 2011; 2nd edition 2014; 3rd edition 2022
  • Catalogue of Italian Matchboxes imported by Portugal – XIX century. 1st edition 2013; under publication 2nd edition
  • Addendum to the Catalogue of Matchbox Labels – Macau – 2016 edition (co-author, text in Portuguese)
  • Advertising Skillets and Bookmatches List – Macau – 2016 (co-author, text in Portuguese)
  • Phillumeny records – Portuguese Phillumeny Exhibitions – 2022
  • Phillumeny records – Portuguese Phillumeny Catalogues and publications – 2022
  • Phillumeny records – Matchbox labels produced abroad to Portuguese speaking territories – 2023
  • Phillumeny records – Postcard in Phillumeny – 2023
  • Portuguese matchbook holders records – 2023
  • Matchbox holders (grips – slides – match safes) records – Portugal – 2023

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Jesús María Bollo García (Spain)

Exhibit : From error to deception

In 1955 there was a joint military base of the American-Spanish army in Torrejón de Ardoz, a town near Madrid. For senior military officials, the American army rented or bought (I don’t know exactly which) a hotel that was located very close to the house where I lived – the Hotel Balboa.

American Bookmatch for Hotel Balboa
American Bookmatch for Hotel Balboa

 

I had to walk past this hotel every day on my way to the Institute where I was studying, and I started noticing and then collecting the matchboxes that the soldiers threw down on the ground when they had used all the matches. These boxes came from the supermarket inside the base which sold only American products.

Some Diamond Match Company bookmatches
Some Diamond Match Company bookmatches

 

This is how I started to acquire the wonderful series of “Circus Day”, “Homes of Great Americans”, “The Old West”, “American Folklore” and other examples from Diamond Match Company. Later, I naturally started collecting Spanish labels which became my specialism and passion, but always finding room for a few interesting items from other countries.

 

 

 

 

My book, Los Fabricantes de Cerillas
My book, Los Fabricantes de Cerillas

In 2018 I published “Los Fabricantes de Cerillas” a 2-volume illustrated book which describes the history of the Spanish Match Industry from 1834 to 1899 based on the archives of the Digital Newspaper Library of the National Library and the Historical Archive of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office.

At the moment I am preparing a Catalogue of the Manufacturers of Spanish matchboxes, although given the complexity of the subject and the difficulty of finding information about these manufacturers I realise that the Catalogue may never see the light of day.

 

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Jerry Bell (Australia)

Exhibit Norm – everyone’s favourite couch potato

I started collecting matchcovers in England in 1948, with the purchase, for the princely sum of 15 shillings, of a collection made in India pre-1914, mainly of Swedish and Austrian labels. I was attracted by the outstanding artwork of many of the labels, and I still have all these labels in my collection, plus over 100,000 more.

I am fortunate that my work took me all over the world, and I now live in Melbourne, Australia.

"Average Contents 60" published in 2005
“Average Contents 60” published in 2005

I have been a member of the BML&BS for over 70 years and the Australian Match Cover Collectors Society for over 40. I have published the history of the Australian match industry, “Lighting Up Australia,” and two catalogues of former imports into Australia.

My book “Average Contents 60” is available from the Society Bookshop.

I also edited the Australian club magazine, the Observer, for 10 years, and am a frequent contributor to this and the British Match Label News.

 

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Ian Macilwain (UK)

Exhibit : How the humble matchbox shaped my life

Scottish Bluebell label 50 x 112 mm, ca. 1961
Scottish Bluebell label 50 x 112 mm, ca. 1961

I am a retired psychiatrist who has devoted retirement to making a series of self-published photobooks on whisky, Romania, walking and cheese making ! My lifelong matchbox collecting started at the age of 11 while waiting for a bus to go to school. My hobby is always in the background and it only takes an unusual box to ignite the fire! (not literally)

I was propelled into collecting labels at the age of 12 when, leaning over a fence waiting for the school bus I set eyes on a box of Scottish Bluebell which attracted my attention (I was in Hampshire and this was a rare label to me probably dropped by a soldier, as it was an Army camp). My friend who was with me wanted it for his collection but I decided somewhat selfishly that it would make a good start to mine !!

I joined the BML&BS in 1970 and was a member for ten years, lapsing when I had a wife and children. I specialised in Eastern Europe and had many collector pen pals in The DDR, Czechoslovakia and Poland.

The hobby has never lost its allure and now that I am retired I am revisiting the fantastic archive which the collection had become. Every label carries a story and is like a time capsule to my childhood years.

Maybe with advancing years I will re-find the fascination that I used to have for this unusual hobby. Somewhat ironically I have lived in Scotland for half my life surrounded by more Scottish Bluebells than I would care to count.

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Himel Rozario (Bangladesh)

Exhibit : Beautiful flowers on Matchboxes & Labels

I am Himel Mark Rozario, hailing from the beautiful city of Dhaka, situated in the charming country of Bangladesh. Currently, I am pursuing my studies at the esteemed Notre Dame University Bangladesh. I have been collecting matchboxes and labels since 2020. In my collection, I have almost one thousand matchboxes and one thousand two hundred labels.


I am a life member of “Bangladesh Matchbox Collector’s Club“. Recently I have participated in an exhibition named 2nd International Virtual Matchbox & Labels Exhibition 2022“. That was my first international exhibition. After that I participated chronologically in “Celebration John Walker’s 242nd Birthday” which was an online exhibition and then International Phillumenia Online Exhibition “Phillonex  2023. I collect Matchbox and Labels based on country and subject matter.

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Gísli Jóhann Sigurðsson (Iceland)

Exhibit : Festive Icelandic Matchboxes

Land of ice and fire – how I started collecting matchbox labels

When I started collecting matchboxes in 1962 or 1963 (10 – 11 years old) it was very common for boys in Siglufjörður to do so. Siglufjörður is a small town in northern Iceland that is surrounded by high mountains and in those years was only open to cars due to snow for about 4 months of the year. Other transport was by sea twice a week.

During the summer, a lot of life moved into the town because ships came there from Europe for the herring as well as other people from other parts of Iceland to work with the herring. The harbours were not fenced off and closed as they are today and we went on board every single ship that came to get matchboxes in exchange. I usually went with a few packets and offered an exchange, but usually opened the packages and exchanged 1 for 1 box.

Most of the boys kept their collection in boxes from biscuits or shoeboxes, and for me it was 2 or 3 drawers in a chest of drawers. The biscuit boxes and shoe boxes then often end up in the attic. When I got a little collection started my father saw that I was very interested in this. He was a fisherman on herring boats and trawlers, he started collecting with me and was soon in touch with a Danish woman who was a collector, he read an article she had written in a Danish book called Hvem Hvad Hvor. From her he obtained information about the BML&BS which we joined. When I was 19 years old, I moved to Reykjavík and set aside the collection for many years.

From time to time I flipped through the album collection when I came to visit my family home.  About 20 years ago my father called me and said that now I had to come and take the collection, because he was starting to lose so much sight that he could not continue anymore. He wanted me to have the collection and take care of it but he was going to view the collection from time to time in a similar way as I had done. So I drove north with a trailer on the back of our car and picked it up. The collection is now 155 books of labels.

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Fernán Pacheco (Costa Rica)

Exhibit : Match related postcards and covers

Born in San José, Costa Rica, in September 1964.  I started collecting matchboxes and labels in 2016.  I never collected anything in my life until in 2006 when I became “hooked” with revenue stamp collecting, a branch little known and even despised by traditional postal stamp collectors.  As a lawyer and notary I fell in love with those fiscal stamps that are stuck to documents.  Since then I have assembled a great collection from Costa Rica, exhibited internationally and written for multiple magazines, including for The Revenue Journal from The Revenue Society, of which I have been a member since 2008. 

Tax stamp and Costa Rica matchbox label, 35 x 50 mm
Tax stamp and Costa Rica matchbox label, 35 x 50 mm

When my collection from Costa Rica was almost complete, I became interested in tax stamps that do not adhere to documents but to objects, which are the rarest. These stamps are meant to be destroyed in the moment the bottle, cigarette pack, deck of playing cards or matchbox is opened, hence few survive. 

I liked how the stamps looked on the labels and in some time I discovered this nice and peculiar hobby.  

I quickly realized that it is impossible to collect “the whole world” so, in addition to the labels with tax stamps, I focused on Latin America countries, my favourites being Argentina, Cuba and Mexico.

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Rupert Harris (UK)

Exhibit : The Harlequin Match (by Bryant & May)

I am Rupert Harris. I live a few miles from the old Moreland’s Match factory in Gloucester, England which Bryant & May acquired in 1913 and was closed in 1976. I have been collecting Bryant & May Hardware and Ephemera for over 40 years. My mother was a passionate collector and I very often accompanied her around the antiques shops, fairs and markets. At the tender age of ten she encouraged me not only to look out for items that may be of interest to her but also to follow her footsteps and become a collector myself; but of what? 

The Moreland’s factory was a landmark that we often passed and was very visible especially at night. For many years including after the closure of the match factory, the neon signage above the main entrance gate continued to brighten the night sky. Still there today, it comprises a pair of crossed matches and went through an ongoing looped sequence of both brown wooden splints lighting up, then the two red match heads, which then both burst into a flickering flame before brief darkness and the repeat of the cycle. 

Some brief research established that Gloucester had previously been the second largest manufacturing centre in the country behind London. The decision to become a phillumenist had been made and the collecting began. Within a year the wise decision, owing to budgetary restriction (pocket money, parent generosity) led to the narrowing of the collection to items bearing the words upon them of ‘Bryant & May’.

Harlequin Matches Third Edition
Harlequin Matches Third Edition

 

 

In 2008 I published a book about Bryant and May’s range of Harlequin Matches which is now in its third edition which adds in even more information about these fantastically colourful matchboxes.

 

 

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David Figg (Australia)

Exhibit : Pillbox tops found on the Australian market

It was 1960 when as a 9-year-old boy walking to school that I kicked over a matchbox in the gutter only to find that it had a picture on it (Brymay Birds & Animals issue) so took it to school, showed my mates and we started collecting. They soon lost interest and so I acquired their holdings to complete my set.

Article from "Observer" February 1970
Article from “Observer” February 1970

 

I had a Great Aunt in the UK who also sent me labels and so my collection slowly grew. The labels were soaked off and pasted in an exercise book.

 

In 1967, I learnt of the existence of the Australian Match Cover Collectors Society (AMCCS) through a work colleague of my late father at Parker Brothers Bakery who took his son to the meetings. This was to be the start of a life-long passion for the hobby.

 

In 1970, this Profile was published in the AMCCS magazine, the Observer and yes, I did meet a “little Miss” marrying Dianne in 1977. Children followed in 1981 & 1983 and three grandsons in 2014, 2019 & 2020.

 

 

COMMITTEE SERVICE, ETC.

Secretary AMCCS (SA) 1984-1986
President AMCCS (SA) 1987 to present
Observer Editor May 1990 to February 1999
Life Membership AMCCS 2002
Honorary Life Membership (International) Bangladesh Matchbox Collectors Club 2022
Observer Distributor since 2009
Annual Postal Auction Coordinator since 2009
Coordinator of National Match Exhibitions held in Adelaide in 1999, 2003, 2009, 2014, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024
Attendee & Trader at BML&BS Exhibitions held in 2000, 2005, 2009 & 2017

SPECIALISATION AREAS

Collecting areas for labels, booklets & skillets are Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea & South Africa. World-wide hardware produced by or for the match manufacturers together with any ephemera allied to the match industry, particularly picture postcards are also collected. 

PUBLICATIONS & ARTICLES

Author of –
Duncan’s of Australia
E.L. Bell & Co, Australian Match Works & Commonwealth Match Works

Co-Author/Contributor to –
Bryant & May Australia Parts 1 & 2
Federal Match Company, Australia
Redheads Skillets
Plyfiber, Australia
The Cheapies (Imports to Australia)
New Zealand Catalogue 2023

Numerous articles in the Observer, Match Label News & IMSA News

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Chris Hime (Australia)

Exhibit : Some Japanese Favourites

I live in the city of Adelaide in South Australia and have been collecting now for over 40 years. It started for me when I would walk to primary school and would see any discarded matchboxes on the street. When my brother was hospitalized for asthma as a child my parents encouraged him to collect matchbox labels as well to pass the time. 

My interest blossomed whereas my brother lost interest and I was also given my uncle’s collection which helped me with some older labels. My parents owning a delicatessen gave me an opportunity to get new additions plus my uncle in his travels would bring home matchboxes as well.

I joined the Australian Match Cover Collectors Society in 1982 after placing a question to the “What’s Your Problem” section of the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper and from there I gained a lot of knowledge and expanded my collection. In 2014 I was awarded Life Membership of the Society.

Two of my grips
Two of my grips

Over the years I have diversified into advertising, match tins, and match strikers of which I have around 400. I also collect grips and have around 850 of them. I collect mainly from Australia, Great Britain, USA, Canada, Holland, New Zealand and Sweden. One of my recent interests is bookmatch and slimline series which are the subject of last year’s Exhibit.

In recent times with the pandemic, having a hobby has been a godsend. I hope you enjoy what I do and hope you enjoy my Exhibit.

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Badrul Hisham Jaafar (Malaysia)

Exhibit : The Eight Immortals of Henry Waugh & Co

I have been a collector for over 30 years. My early interest involves numismatic and philatelic items.

As a collector, I was looking for tantalizing factors of something being interesting, teasingly challenging, valuable, historically beneficial perhaps or artistically profound, with the bottom line being simply: satisfying and fun. Phillumeny satisfies all those criteria.

Some famous imported match labels of “Elephant & Cock” from Sweden by Paterson Simons & Co Ltd for use in Straits Settlements ( Straits) and Federated Malay States ( FMS) which are now Singapore and part of Peninsular Malaysia

 

 

My phillumeny collection is geographically focused towards anything Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia originated or related.

 

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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 around 10000 matchboxes and over 12,000 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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Alan Middleton (UK)

Exhibit : Cleveland Match Company

I joined the BML&BS in 1969 and attend most of the London meetings. My son Mark and grandson Padraig followed suit and joined the society in 2021.

My interests in phillumeny are mainly pre World War II labels and British Bookmatches and I have approximately 10,000 items in my collection.

I particularly enjoy researching British factories and importers 1918-1939 as the labels are still reasonably priced and, most importantly, obtainable!

Published 2018
Published 2018

 

Many of my articles have been published in the Society magazine, and more recently in 2020 have updated my book in colour of the ‘North of England Match Co. West Hartlepool’.

I am currently part of the group of our Society collectors researching John Walker for the 200th Anniversary Exhibition of his invention of the friction match to be held in Preston Park Museum, Stockton-on-Tees in 2026.

 

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Alan Downer (UK)

Exhibit : A. Dellachá Matchboxes

Inspired by a friend who had just started to collect matchboxes, my collection started on the 7th April 1966, at the age of 14.

The initial collection, included matchboxes and cigarette packets. However, I soon decided to concentrate on matchboxes. Not only complete matchboxes, also the labels, bookmatch covers, match hardware, in fact any item connected to the match industry. My collection still remains a general collection, although I have a special interest in a number of subjects. These include Spanish (1840s-1950s), labels marked Foreign Made, and the brand Swan Vestas. I also have a deep interest in the older issues of countries such as Mexico, France, Italy, Cuba, and some Central & South American countries, as well as the older British matchboxes and labels.

In 1972, as part of my mechanical engineering studies at college, I was required to give a lecture to the other students. The research for this led to the discovery of the existence of the “British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society” (BML&BS), now known as the “British Matchbox Label & Bookmatch Society”, through two books written by Joan Rendell. I joined the BML&BS in October 1972 and have remained a member ever since.

My interest in phillumeny has allowed me to see some impressive collections by visiting many fellow collectors and attending meetings in a number of countries in Europe. This has enriched my life and I have gained many friends directly because of this hobby.

I have been part of the committee of the BML&BS since 1995, and from October 2006 I have been the Editor of the “Match Label News”, their magazine.

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