The hobby of collecting matchboxes is called phillumeny, and is not half as popular as stamp and coin collecting , they’re an expression of popular art. And for another, they commemorate events that will eventually go down in history.

Certain themes run strongly in the art on the boxes, for example, animals. Tigers, elephants, lions and cockerels are the most popular choices for matchbox art, the first three because of mythology, the last because rural areas and certain sections of cities abound in roosters. “They are such a common image that designers adopt them as an easy symbol for matchboxes.