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
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")
GOST (State Standard) 1829-56 (i.e. number and year of the standard)
Price 1 Kopeck
[NB: 60 pieces for 1 Kop meaning the box of 60 matches]
And issued in 1969 we have one label inscribed
"25 Years of Soviet Tuva"
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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