What in the heck are match box stamps?  Basically labels glued to match boxes.   Collecting these was, or still is relatively common in eastern European countries, especially in the former Soviet Union. These collectors call themselves "philumenists".

They collect these labels "mint" (never attached to match boxes), used, or even the complete match boxes.  "Presentation sets" of match boxes with different labels were also sold.

The manufacture and sale of these labels was a form of "business" in communist times for the typographies: the value of a "mint" label was higher than the value of the whole box including matches (1 cop. until the late 80's).  So they sold the labels directly to the collectors.   There is no known catalog of these labels, but there are many thousands issued, and from many countries.

The set of 16 printed in 1964 was no doubt from a presentations set.

All 16 are inscribed "20 Years of Soviet Tuva".  The inscription on the left says :

West Siberian "SNKh" (probably "Council of People's Economy")
Factory "Siberia"
GOST (State Standard) 1829-56 (i.e. number and year of the standard)
60 pieces 
Price 1 Kopeck
[NB: 60 pieces for 1 Kop meaning the box of 60 matches]

1964m1.jpg (13736 bytes)1964m2.jpg (13316 bytes)1964m3.jpg (14042 bytes)1964m4.jpg (13254 bytes)
1964m5.jpg (13161 bytes)1964m6.jpg (13011 bytes)1964m7.jpg (13162 bytes)1964m8.jpg (12955 bytes)
1964m9.jpg (14176 bytes)1964m10.JPG (14342 bytes)1964m11.jpg (14327 bytes)1964m12.jpg (14285 bytes)
1964m13.jpg (13713 bytes)1964m14.jpg (15204 bytes)1964m15.jpg (13781 bytes)1964m16.jpg (14248 bytes)



And issued in 1969 we have one label inscribed

"25 Years of Soviet Tuva"

1969m1.jpg (15186 bytes)

These are the only Tuva-related match box stamps I've found...there are possibly others.  If you know of any, please drop me a note.

Many thanks to Patrick Bonacker who helped explain much of the above.

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