F-Zero Match Factory
F-Zero Match Factory

The Matchbox Picture: The Art of Disappearing

1. Advertising matches: a history book without words

Sparks, as the name suggests, are the artistic flowers on the matchbox. Sparks can not only reflect the scenery, customs, literature and art of various countries.

It often unintentionally and faithfully records historical changes and social changes. Therefore, "Spark", which is also called the sister flower with stamps, has the reputation of "small encyclopedia".

Belonging to one of the world's five major collection systems (stamps, sparks, coins, cigarette labels, and wine labels), the sparks are also known internationally as phosphorus-inch stamps, matchbox stickers, match labels, and match pictures.

According to research, the spark has a history of more than 160 years, 13 years earlier than the first postage stamp, the British Penny Black stamp. The world's first spark was born in 1827. The oldest "John Walker" brand spark produced by Stockden Company in Cleveland, England, is to commemorate the British pharmacist John Walker.

He made the world's first friction match in 1826. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the invention of matches, the world's first advertising matchbox sticker was named "John Walker" brand, and on the spark Printed with his face.

In addition to commemorating people, Huohua, as a pocket history book without words, also records the changes of the whole society. For example, among the sparks in early China, the sparks reflecting major events in the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China, such as "Northern Navy", "opening a school", "cutting braids is not easy to wear", "rapid railway construction", etc., have become rare treasures.

There are few early sparks that have been handed down from generation to generation. When you look at the small advertising matchsticker, you seem to see a vivid history book that reflects the history of blood and tears in old China and the history of the difficult development of national industry.

2. Matchbox stickers: collection is also a kind of spirit

Darwin said: "A hobby of collecting seems to indicate the success of future life." For collectors of sparks, this sentence is especially true.

Many people think that the spark collection does not require strong material and financial resources like many other art collections. Its most attractive advantages are simplicity, cheapness and ease of use. But among the many matchbox sticker lovers, there are very few who can really stick to it.

As more and more people play with sparks, old sparks are becoming less and less common. Many sparks have no market, and many collectible sparks may not be bought even if you spend money, let alone small and numerous sparks. In the world, financial guarantees are not enough.

Many complete sets and series of sparks will consume a lot of time and energy for collectors. In many cases, collecting sparks even becomes a kind of persistent will quality exercise. Only those who really love matchbox stickers and know how to appreciate sparks can experience the fun from it.

3. Matchbox sitckers: from non-mainstream to second spring

Of course, in addition to the tireless and persistent spark lovers, there are still many people who are collecting spark with an investment mentality.

As matches were replaced by lighters on a large scale, many match factories closed down, and the spark as a match trademark became rarer and rarer.

In the collection market, there are much more investment items such as stamps, calligraphy and paintings, coins, utensils, etc. than advertising matchstickers. However, things are rare and expensive, and the potential economic value and upside of sparks have been discovered by many people.

People who have experienced the peak period of spark collection in 2000 may still remember it vividly. At that time, a small spark could fetch a price hundreds or even thousands of times higher than its own value.

Due to the increasing popularity of the spark market, many "speculators" have also caused a situation in the market where it is difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake. Commodity flowers are rampant, and fake flowers are rampant in the early and mid-term.

However, no one can deny that today, Matchbox stickers have ushered in their "second spring" from the "non-mainstream" collection of the year.

With the intensification of spark exhibitions and publicity, the enthusiasm for spark collection will gradually reach its peak. The match industries in the United States, Japan, Germany and other countries not only did not disappear because of the appearance of lighters, but also the match industry is still full of vitality. The target market turns to China.

It seems that the international match consumption market is still a big cake that has not been tapped. In the near future, these "folk business cards" smeared with historical imprints will bloom even more brilliantly.

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