Phillumeny is the niche hobby of collecting vintage matchbox labels and other match-related items.
Back in the days when smoking was far more prevalent than it is today, a box of matches was one of the most commonly carried items in a man's pocket. In Malaysia there were a number of match manufacturers located around the country. The decline in smoking and the invention of cheap cigarette lighters has taken its toll on the industry but a couple of manufacturers still survive, such as the Kelantan Match Factory in Kota Bharu, established in 1933.
The manufacturers decorated their matchboxes with logos and attractive images to promote their brands. Many of these miniature artworks have become collectors items, hence the hobby of phillumeny. Here are a few Malaysian examples:
You can find some interesting photos of workers, mostly elderly, employed in the Kelantan Match Factory on this blog.
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