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Hans Gruener.

How to keep match labels?

    This question is asked again and again and that is the cause of this publication. There is quite a number of different phillumeny materials. There are souvenir sets, skillets, match covers, labels, entire matchboxes - to list all there would not be enough of the full page! And each of them demands its own way of keeping in collection.

    Below you find some ways to keep a collection.

    The best way to see the artwork on the skillets and match covers is to keep them in the special plastic numismatic pages with pockets that allow you to see both sides of the item. Match covers fit inside this pockets nicely, match boxes (the sleeves) should be carefully flattened, This is, possibly the most expensive way of keeping the collection. But keeping it in this way allows you to keep (even full match books) in their natural form. Even old boxes made of veneer can be kept in this way. It is quite convenient to look at the font or back sides of the exhibits. The bad side of this method is that except for expensive sheets one will need good (and thus, also expensive) files for them. Also you still will have to take match covers from the sheet to see the inside of them. And some skillets and covers would not fit into the standard 5x5.5 cm pockets.

    There is one more not very cheap way of keeping match covers (and boxes or skillets). They are kept in small drawers organized in a kind of old library index. This method allows to keep a big amount of material on the small place just stacking them as dense as possible. This method is good to keep full boxes and even souvenir sets. You can keep even boxes with matches. But to look at the label one has to take the box from the drawer. It should be done even if you just need to compare two labels.

    The third way is to use edges of stamp pages of philatelic hinges (use no cello-tape) for the labels and using some photoglue or waterbase‚ glue to attach the skillets or covers to the sheet of thick paper. But in this way the exhibit will be surely damaged. If you think there might be a need to put the label on an other sheet - use stamphinges or glue on waterbase to lessen the damage. But this method demands a lot of time..

    This is the main way of keeping the collection of match covers among the members of the German Phillumeny Society. .

    As the last variant I'd like to propose a method of keeping modern materials on the page with cuts. It demands a small amount of time and allows to keep match covers so, that you have the access to the inside of the front cover without damaging the item and even keep matchbooks with matches. The change of the collection items might be done very quick and at any moment. And this method is very inexpensive.

    The place the covers in this way you will need very thick (about 110-120 g/m2) A4 format paper, a rules and a shoemaker knife.

    Mark the future cuts with the help of a ruler on the paper (or light cardboard) and cut this line with a very sharp knife. With the sharp knife you can make cuts into the paper in a distance of 5 cm between them.
On this way you can quickly and easily fix match cover on the page. The above sizes are given for the standard size covers. For other sizes you will have to calculate the cuts sizes and distance between them yourself. After you make the cuts you can insert the front "page" of the cover on the upper cut and the lower flap - into the lower one. You will be able to "open" the cover and see the inside of the front "page". About the same way one can keep skillets (the face of the box on one side, the back on the other). The page can hold up to 12 booklets (or skillets). Before you make a lot of these sheets, make first one sample paper to see if it works and the result is satisfied.

    To protect the pages you may insert them into plastic file bags with the filing holes and keep them in files Now the labels may be easily seen without any problems. The replace and to add the new exhibit is also not a problem.

    To be able to find the needed label quickly, the collectors divide them by different criterions. The most used criterion is by country, then, for example on the advertising of restaurants, tobacco or different firms. One should keep in mind, though, that such a division may go down to the only label in the section. There are a lot of ways to store your collection labels, each collector used his own criterion to find the labels back and none criterion is perfect.

Translation by Gennady Golyadkin and Stanislav Dmitriev
(with the assistance of Hans Everink).
Photo by Hans Gruener

Original German text published at
the site of the German Phillumeny Society
© Copyright Hans Gruener, 2003

Only materials supplied by the autors or permitted by them can be published here.
No part of this article can be reproduced in any form without authors permission!

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