Thursday, July 30, 2015


Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves.
~Laura Esquivel

What is phillumeny? A word derived from derived from phil- [Greek for "loving"] + lumen- [Latin for "light"], phillumeny refers to collecting match-related items, such as matchboxes, matchbox labels, matchbooks and so on.

In 1987, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Teiichi Yoshizawa as the top phillumenist with 577,000 matchbox labels. You can see exhibits of Japanese matches and those from overseas at the Japanese Virtual Museum "Match World." Guity Novin has excellent information (and images) about the history of matchboxes.

We have a variety of matchboxes today...non-poisonous, impregnated, car-related, and decorated:

Matchbox and match labels
photo by Takkk

photo by Stephen Coles

Matchbox with a picture celebrating the wedding of Princess Ingrid and Crown Prince Frederik, 1935

The Victoria
photo by Alf van Beem

photo by Marcus Böckmann

Matchbox label
photo by Marcus Böckmann

photo by matchbox minimalist

by dmmalva

La Traviata II
by Roberta Cortese

eBay's Guide to Collecting Matchboxes

1 comment:

Pop said...

These are really cool. Again, wherever people can create some interesting, they do!

The one by dmmalva and the La Traviata II are wonderful.

But I must admit that my favorite is the Aero Plane (non poisonous - non glowing) box.