Salesman Sample Matchbox Labels
It's matchbook covers for stick matches that I picked up from a friend of mine, and I believe it's a salesman sampler. A priest friend of mine had it. He deals with antiques and stuff and had it in his house. I asked him if he was interested in selling it and he was. I paid $50 for it approximately ten years ago.
Yes indeed, this is a collection of salesman sample matchbox labels containing over 1,200 examples. There's representation of many countries in here, and on the reverse of some of them, we can see that they're actually dated. This particular cover is dated 1927, also signed, and it was made in Hong Kong. So we do know that this album was for a company based out of Hong Kong. They're all dated in the 1920s and the 1930s. I believe the earliest date we found in there was 1926 and as late as 1938.
It's a very nice early salesman sample album of some matchbox labels with excellent graphics. The condition is outstanding on these. They were most likely placed right into the album by the manufacturer, and they've been in the album since then. It was for the company to show the different types of covers that they offered, and of course all different motifs. There's lions, cats, dogs. And we found examples in here where they were selling these to companies-- not only China and Japan, but also Sweden and Russia and many other countries. And here in particular, I've stopped at this page, where we have just one. This is for a company in Honolulu, a very rare example of the graphics of a Hawaiian company. And the last one we have is a wonderful page, my favorite, the graphics, incredible graphics of the cats there. And do you have any idea on the value?
I was offered $400 unseen, but $700, $800 is what I had originally had thought it was valued.
Well, what's great about this album is that it's highly unlikely you could ever assemble a collection like this individually. It would take you years and years to try to assemble this many, if you could even find them. We have over 1,200 examples in this book. The value ranges. On the Hawaiian one in particular, at auction, we'd expect that one to bring $50 to $75. On some of the complete pages of the companies in China and Japan, at auction, the page of six we believe would sell for $100 to $200 for just the six on that page. But as an album and as a collection, at auction, we would expect this to sell for $6,000 to $8,000.
That's very good. (laughs) That's exciting.
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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
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