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Antique Match Safes

Matches were items commonly needed by people living in the 1800s and early 1900s before the advent of disposable lighters. Unfortunately early matches has a tendency to light unexpectedly and so people began carrying them in match safes to keep them from igniting in their pockets. Many people had personal match safes made of silver, gold or other luxurious materials. Many stores and advertisers produced cheaper match safes to give away to consumers. This category includes not just match safes, but also match strikes, match holders, match dispensers and other items associated with matches in general.

There are hundreds of these types of items out there and so many were made because tobacco was tremendously popular and having matches was in most cases the best way to get a light.

Match Safes: Most advertising match safes have a celluloid wrapper over a paper advertising label, there are some that are cast or made into the shape of an item or with lettering. Match safes are fun collectibles because they are so small that they can be arranged into nice displays without needing a lot of space.

Match Strikes: Match strikes are usually rectangular signs or plates that would be mounted on walls or counters with advertising on part and a rough surface for striking matches on others. Most match strikes are porcelain enamel, but some are also lithographed tin.

Match Holders: Match holders are some of the more varied types of objects. Some of these are simple canisters that hold matches, others have mechanical mechanisms that pull a match out for you and in some cases even light it, others are cast into shapes and figures and still others offer some combination of these. Match holders can be found made of different materials that are fire proof such as ceramics or metals.

Values of Match Safes and other items depend of course on condition but also on the type of item and its level of detail, what brand is advertised, and other factors. In general nice examples will be worth values in the low hundreds of dollars. For information on your old, vintage or antique match strikes, match holders, or match safes please feel free to contact us.

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