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Matchboxes from the Subcontinent.
February 13, 2009 8:29 AM   Subscribe

"Collected during my time working from Bangalore, these matchboxes are the tangible memories of my various travels and experiences through India." via (with interview)
posted by gman (26 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great find gman. As a serial hoarder, I doff my hat to this phillumenist. His other stuff is cool too.
posted by bokeh at 8:41 AM on February 13, 2009


Very cool. But damn, he didn't have one box I had forever, saved from working in Bangalore in 1996.
They were called "Redheads" and had a sexy cartoon red-haired lady on them. I had them forever in a drawer and just used them up a few months ago, lighting the barbeque with them for a few weeks 'cause I didn't have a lighter.
posted by chococat at 8:58 AM on February 13, 2009


This is fantastic.
posted by vacapinta at 9:09 AM on February 13, 2009


This is awesome.
posted by chunking express at 9:19 AM on February 13, 2009


Light of India: A Conflagration of Indian Matchbox Art (via the comment on the 2nd link)
posted by gman at 9:21 AM on February 13, 2009


Wow. I noticed that all of the matchboxes my cook used had various animals on them, but they're modern. I was fond of the one with a deer on it, mostly because it was being chased by a tiger and sure to be maliciously slaughtered in just-a-second.

I think my favorite match names on here are Cheeta Fight and Butter Flay, complete with awesome pictures.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:26 AM on February 13, 2009


Thanks to McSweeney's Quarterly I learned of this expansive collection of matchbooks and refer to them often to get design ideas. This link shall also go in the bookmark file used to kickstart my brain. Thanks!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:26 AM on February 13, 2009


I'd like to make a Ponnyy request.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:29 AM on February 13, 2009


I'm sorry to see that Cock Wax Matches haven't taken off over here.

And looking through those brands, it's a copyright lawyer's wet dream.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:31 AM on February 13, 2009


I got a box of "Cheeta Fight" matches in India, and have wanted that on a t-shirt ever since. I also have this book which I find endlessly interesting to look through.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 10:01 AM on February 13, 2009


I love this!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:18 AM on February 13, 2009


Love this! Thanks for this treat. I love the small magic of Indian matchboxes. Each wood stick unique in its shape and color, the funny, often quirky, covers with their miniature poster art. Like who puts "Tube Light" (a fluorescent light bulb) as a theme on a match box?

My kind of treasure. Thanks gman.
posted by nickyskye at 10:18 AM on February 13, 2009


I could stare at these for hours. Fantastic.
posted by slogger at 11:29 AM on February 13, 2009


The "Kismet" matches, with the image of a house in the middle of a big flame? Whaaaa? Really cool post; thanks, gman.
posted by heyho at 11:32 AM on February 13, 2009


There's something about Indian matchboxes that just makes you want to save them. My own collection has a number of overlaps with Matt Lee's, which is interesting considering he was based in Bangalore and I in Jaipur, which are pretty far apart.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with all of mine. Seems like a waste for them to be hidden away in a drawer...
posted by bookish at 12:25 PM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


> They were called "Redheads" and had a sexy cartoon red-haired lady on them

That's weird. I thought 'redheads' were an Australian match box brand. I'm from Bangalore, and I've never seen a 'redhead' match box.
posted by dhruva at 12:26 PM on February 13, 2009


Also, he's missing the best part of the 'Delhi' matchbox, which is that while it shows a stately sketch of Delhi architecture on the front, the back has a picture of Donald Duck.
posted by bookish at 12:30 PM on February 13, 2009


Donald Duck.

Scrooge McDuck.
posted by peppito at 12:41 PM on February 13, 2009


That's weird. I thought 'redheads' were an Australian match box brand. I'm from Bangalore, and I've never seen a 'redhead' match box

That's them!
Huh. I got them in Bangalore so I assumed they were Indian. They were different than the one's you linked to; they were the small wax ones and the same size box as all the Indian matches in the match collection website.
posted by chococat at 12:43 PM on February 13, 2009


Scrooge McDuck.I really do know the difference. I swear.
posted by bookish at 12:52 PM on February 13, 2009


I like Fire brand matches. 502 isn't bad either.
posted by Xurando at 2:06 PM on February 13, 2009


This is so neat. Reminds me of this image from my own favorite area.
posted by HopperFan at 3:35 PM on February 13, 2009


truly, i enjoyed his entire portfolio. thanks for the post.
posted by thebellafonte at 7:26 PM on February 13, 2009


I'd yank it.
posted by furtive at 9:29 PM on February 13, 2009


These are wonderful! (and bookish, I'm the flickr stranger who just faved loads of yours.)

Copyright hilarity aside, they're like tiny posters dedicated to symbols, graphics and whimsy - like a fusion of loteria cards and handlettered signs. I went through an obsession with tinned fruit labels, threw out all the tins when I moved because I reasoned I could always buy/eat/enjoy, and then discovered they've just gone and changed to a totally uninteresting modern label.
posted by carbide at 4:56 AM on February 14, 2009


That's not Scrooge McDuck, it's "Super Miki!"
posted by hydrophonic at 6:46 AM on February 14, 2009


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