Exhibitor : Mike Pryor (example biography)

Exhibits : Old Cornish Mine, Why I started collecting

I started collecting matchboxes and labels in 1966. My aunt and uncle owned a tobacconist shop in Cornwall and I ‘worked’ there for them marking and delivering newspapers. This is where I first saw the Old Cornish Mine series of labels which fascinated me, and started a life-long interest in phillumeny.

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.

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 :

  • 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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