Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Match box covers - from the sublime to the ridiculous

I told you yesterday about my little 'time capsule' of match box covers, collected around Europe in the 1950s (and quite probably '60s). Like collectors' cards, many covers were clearly produced in sets, and I've photographed some of the more intriguing ones for you. First off, sayings:
"Rainy Marriage, Happy Home!" It certainly rained on and off on our wedding day...
"Ill-gotten-gains never bring good." I'll say.
"Travel educates the young." Good one!
"Do more kindness than violence." Gosh yes, I should hope so... What's that stick for?
And now onto what I'm thinking of as animal fables, although I can't actually think of stories to go with all these stylish pictures.
The French really go a bundle on animal fables.
The boys have studied loads of them at school. Watch out, lamb!
"Entre loup et chien," perhaps? I well-remember my grandma teaching me that French phrase for the dusk - the time you couldn't tell the difference between a wolf and a dog. Spooky thought for a child, walking out in the evening with her grandmother... shades of Red Riding Hood, even in a Devon seaside town.
I looked this one up - it's a French poem.
Here are three houses from a 'Homes of France' set - to me they represent Lululiz, Elizabethd and our own family!
There's another set of French regional costumes, of which this one is my out-and-out favourite.
There are plenty of overseas links too - hello my Tasmanian friends!
The countries where the French had been involved are well-represented.
Now, that was all sublime. Are you ready for the ridiculous?
Yup, a whole black and white set of landmarks of Belgium, including the well known Manneken Pis.
Not my favourite little boy.
Am I just prudish?Well, I had no idea that there was a long-running tradition of dressing this little fellow up,but if you follow that link, you will see it still goes on today.


Itch2stitch.com said...

Brilliant Floss! I love them all , although I am not overly keen on the peeing boy! Fantastic collection! suzie xxx

Catherine said...

What a great collection! Very unusual! Cx

Emma said...

I just went to Brussels for a couple of days for my birthday and saw the Mannekin Pis! I wasn't too keen on him either, until we saw in a guide book that he is also known as 'Little Julian', which we found quite endearing!
But it was a strange choice of subject for a statue!
From Emma

Lululiz said...

What an absolutely amazing collection, they are fabulous! Are you going to frame them up? You are not going to put them back in a box, are you? They are too cute for that. I love the idea of Elizabethd and myself being represented in that collection along with yourself. Too funny.

Angela said...

Cor! Strike a light, Missus! These are great. The demise of smoking and open fires means there are fewer matchboxes these days.

And I really want some "Pudding Powder Imperial" now, sounds much less violent than Instant Whip.
The boys worked hard. Sorry about the bike incidents though.

Serenata said...

Fabulous boxes, although like others I must say I could give the little boy a miss - probably prudish as well! ;-)

I especially like the three houses.

Princess and the Pea said...

Hi Flos, thanks for your comment over on my blog! I've just looked at your profile and can't believe what a small world it is! My Grandad lives about 40 minutes North of Toulouse in a little town called Castel Sarassin (near Montauban) and he also goes to a church in Toulouse city centre (I'm not sure which one though!) - you might even know him! Wouldn't that be funny?!

Kat x

Lyn said...

what lovely illustrations.
he's a cheeky chap at the end though!

Elizabethd said...

Oh my word!!
How sweet to see the three little houses! Amazing things link us all together.

Freddie said...

Wow these are great. Especially the colour ones, they remind me of illustrations in books I had as a little girl. Do you know what you're going to do with them? They're certainly worth putting on display.

TheMadHouse said...

I am a bit of a prude and dont like the tiddling boy. My paternal grandad had an image very similar in his loo and I never liked it even as a child!