A box or carton holding typically 50 matchbooks.



A capsule is a term used in Swedish factories and by collectors to describe a bundle of matches wrapped in paper. This type of packaging was often found on early Swedish matches.


A wooden crate or cardboard box intended to safely contain for transportation more than one gross matchboxes.  Typically used to transport 12 gross packets or 10 hundred packets.

Collectors’ labels

Labels primarily intended for sale to, or exchange with, phillumenists and not intended for use on matchboxes though some may be affixed to matchboxes in an attempt to legitimise them.  They cannot be considered to be matchbox labels.

Colour proof

A test printing of an single colour or way taken prior to a multicoloured item being printed. Items cut from colour proofs are sometimes offered to collectors as genuine items. Any mint examples cut from colour proofs might be collected as a curiosity but they should be considered as waste from the printing process having no value. 

However, used examples from colour proofs can be an indicator of prevailing economic constraints or quality standards and their brevity in production can make them sought after. See also printer’s proof and printer’s pull.

Colour shift

Registration is the alignment of the printing plates as they apply their respective colour portion of the image being printed. Colour shift occurs when one or more printing plates are out of alignment. Where designs involve printing plates with areas of dots or lines close to dots or lines of differing colours are misaligned then seemingly dramatic colour variations and design variations can be produced. Such variations cannot be considered as a different design.

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