Filumenia: a 200-year history of collecting

A lot of ordinary objects surround a person in the bustle of everyday life. But a nondescript badge, coin, or inconspicuous mark has its own, sometimes exciting story. A matchbox with a distinctive label - the “tamed fire” vault, can tell about the history of the country in the period when it was released. It can be a miniature platform for a commercial ad, in other words, an advertisement or to deliver aesthetic pleasure to a collector. What is phillumeny? Let's talk about this in more detail.


Matching labels collection has been going on for more than 200 years. Matchboxes began to be collected almost immediately, as soon as packages with matches appeared on the shelves of outlets. Some collectors are proud of the treasure in their exposure - the labels of the boxes, which were still kept "chemical" matches. Such items are dated around 1810-1815! In 1826 or 1827 (the exact date is unknown), when the "strike-up" matches, the brainchild of the English inventor John Walker, began to be produced on an industrial scale, the gathering of off-match boxes received a wide scope.

FACT! After the First World War, communities of matchbox labels collectors were formed, and specialized literature began to be published. Unfortunately, these associations disappeared in the crucible of the Second World War. However, after 1945, new collector clubs around the world began to emerge.

How to choose a box for the collection

Collecting is a gathering system. Each collector has a specific goal, being interested in one, maybe several themes. For example, if a person is fascinated by collecting boxes with labels of the USSR era and he came across a match box with the image of Yu. A. Gagarin, who made his immortal flight on April 12, 1961, it is advisable to supplement the series. By the way, there are 6 more exhibits in this series - with Valentina Tereshkova, G.S. Titov and other cosmonauts. In the Soviet Union produced a lot of interesting options:

  • Young heroes of the Great Patriotic War.
  • Images of national costumes of the Union republics.
  • A series of vintage cars.
  • Zoo series.
  • Sport.
  • Pictures, campaigners to stop drinking and so on.

Choosing a topic, you should collect the entire series. This is collecting. It is desirable for the phillumenist himself that the box with the label be in good condition.

How to store a collection

Perhaps only philatelists will be able to understand the phillumenists. After all, brands, like matchbox labels, are fragile things. Made of paper and ink that will fade over time. Philatelists keep their expositions in special albums, and phillumenists use several ways to do this:

  1. With the help of hand-made album. On the thick sheet of paper stick the top of the matchbox. Then the sheets are stitched together with a strong kapron thread, thus creating an album.
  2. With the help of the box. In some cases, the drawing is not interesting to phillumenists. The exhibit is valuable in the shape of the box, as it opens, even with the matches inside it. Under such circumstances, the album is not suitable - because you have to store all the boxes.

Using a handmade album or a box "life" of the collection can be significantly increased.

Philoumenia in the world and in Russia

After 1945, the phillumenia began to gain strength, drawing new members around the world. At present, the British “The British Matchbox Label & Booklet Society” is considered to be the largest community with a developed structure, which covers not only the UK and former colonies, but also other countries. In Russia, the passion appeared even before they began to make and sell their own matches. Travelers and sailors brought boxes with them from distant countries as souvenirs, like fridge magnets today. For the period of the beginning of the First World War, collections consisting of 1000 exhibits were announced.

After the historic shot of the Aurora in 1917, phillumeny fell into disrepair. An undeserved label was hanged - "bourgeois prejudice." However, since the middle of the last century, matchbox collector sections began to be organized in large cities of the Soviet Union. The heyday of the phillumeny in the Union fell on two decades - from 1960 to 1980. Even the famous Balabanovskaya factory produced special sets of labels for collectors. This movement was joined by Baltic factories operating in the domestic market. Due to the fact that the vast majority of factories refused to veneer boxes, going to the cardboard packaging, filumeny again declined.

FACT! Today, phillumeny is experiencing another rebirth. There are 2 clubs in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The number of their members is steadily growing. Communities began to produce special literature - "Moscow Phillumenist" and "Nevsky Phillumenist".

How much can a box cost?

Speaking about the value of collectibles, it is worth noting that just a label pasted on the album and boxes with a characteristic image are different things for the understanding person. In the first case, the exhibit does not represent value, and its value tends to zero. Another thing is a matchbox with a label, and in good condition - such copies can cost tens of thousands of rubles. For example, German products, dated 1941, cost 300 rubles per copy, but from 1960 to 1990 it will cost the collector only up to 30 rubles per piece. The cost directly depends on the subject, circulation and safety of the copy.

Philumenia, with a certain cyclical nature, it declines, then it is reborn again. Matching attributes collection is a gambling hobby that attracts new members all over the world. Collecting a collection at home, a person plunges into the world of history, feeling the breath of epochs, gets acquainted with how people lived in this or that country.

The filumenia is also attractive because it does not require an investment to assemble the specimens of interest. It is enough to have in your pocket 100 rubles and a great desire to join the study of history through collecting. It offers beginners the Internet, where there are forums of phillumenists under discussion, exchanges or the sale / purchase of labels.

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