Phillumeny

Eastern European matchbox labels

german matchbox label

Flickr member Jane McDevitt is a phillumenist which means she collects (and scans) matchbox labels. Her collection of matchbox labels from eastern Europe is one of the finest I’ve ever seen. Incredible stuff and reminiscent of Russian constructivist art. Scanning through the entire thing is like a graphical history lesson. I collect as well but haven’t started the process of scanning yet. It’s a big job…

german matchbox label

czechoslovakian matchbox label

polish matchbox label

polish matchbox label

czechoslovakian matchbox label

Phillumeny

Collecting matchbox labels is called phillumeny; its obsessive proponents are phillumenists. One reason there are so many phillumenists is because there are untold matchbox (and matchbook) graphics that can be found in virtually all corners of the globe.

I am a phillumenist; I have thousands of matchboxes and book matches from my 20 years of world travel. I can’t seem to get rid of them and I haven’t gotten around to photographing or scanning them but someday.