tax seal applied to a matchbox long enough to seals both ends to demonstrate it has not been previously opened and that tax has been paid. When each end is sealed with separate labels they are termed tax seals. See also tax seal and tax stamp.

Bengal matches

Bengal Matches are a special type of pyrotechnic match that generally burn for a longer time than ordinary matches and give off a brightly coloured flame when burning. They have a wooden splint and two composition parts : one at the tip to initiate combustion, and the other adjoining the head along a long length of the splint. Bengal matches are still manufactured today that flare either green, red or silver, and most are made in India.


Mint matchbox labels arranged in a pair, a single row or column or several rows or columns cut from a printer’s sheet (q.v.), often comprising a set and usually being originally sourced from a match factory. It is recommended that a block remain uncut unless you can arrange to have it accurately cut into separate matchbox labels using a guillotine. Badly cut labels, especially with scissors can be made worthless.

Note that some dozen labels have the appearance of a block of two. Sometimes the only difference between such dozen labels and their matchbox label counterparts is the absence of crop marks in the apparent block.


Alternative but now rarely used term for bookmatch (matchbook). Probably still in use because of its inclusion in the original name of our Society, which was the ‘British Matchbox Label and Booklet Society’. The founder members agreed to this title in 1945.


match from a matchbook. Matchbooks are often incorrectly called bookmatches. The term is still frequently used by British collectors. North American collectors preferring the term matchbook.

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