Matchsafes, by Deborah Sampson Shinn. Scala Publishers in association with Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Softcover, 112 pages, 100 color illustrations.
This richly illustrated book features highlights from the collection of more than 4000 match safes housed at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.
The book offers a contextual treatment of match safe design, in relation to the broader artistic, social, and technological themes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The eleven chapters of the book explore match safe makers and manufacturers; the innovative and traditional materials from which they were made; their novel shapes and gadgetry; their full expression of high-style design; their decorative motifs reflecting daily life and popular culture; their service in the burgeoning field of commercial advertising; their use as souvenirs and commemoratives; the influences of Japan and the East; shapes and ornament based on Nature; and match safes incorporating games, puzzles and humor.
Match safes made by Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Gorham, and other prominent jewelers and silversmiths are illustrated in the book, including a rare Tiffany case with Native American motifs that was exhibited at the 1889 Paris World's Fair.
This book is new and being sold for the International Match Safe Association. All monies go directly to IMSA.