The Picker’s List: Readers buying matchbook holders, Shelley miniature cups, Shirley Chisolm, gumball-laying toy chickens and more!

Dozens of subscribers are sharing their want list, no matter how big or small. Are you selling the antiques and collectibles our readers are buying? – Editor.

Matchbook holders light collector’s fire

indian motorcycle Matchbook holderI collect matchbook holders, a 20th-century version of the match safe.

Meant to be carried in pocket or purse, a matchbook holder would hold a 20-stick paper matchbook, rather than the loose-stick matches that a match safe or matchbox would hold. One key element of the matchbook holder (at least, in my mind) is that, while you might have to open the matchbook holder to tear a match out, the striker on the paper matchbook would be accessible to strike the match without having to actually manipulate the matchbook itself.

coca-cola Matchbook holderNormally, the holders are rectangular in regard to length and width, but they are often tapered in depth — deeper at the top of the holder (where the match heads would be) and narrower at the base (where the striker would be). Pictured here are a few matchbook holders for those who may not be familiar with them. (Among these, I’ve included the Indian Motocycle  matchbook holder.)

After the paper matchbook was invented in the 1890s, the first matchbook holder was patented in 1904, and most holders were manufactured before the 1950s. Usually, they were made out of metal, from base to precious, but there are many matchbook holders that are plastic or leather. Other materials include tortoiseshell, fabric or wood.

Like the earlier match safe, matchbook holders found a market as gift items, souvenirs or as an advertising medium. As an advertising medium, it had an advantage over the cardboard matchbook: after using the 20 matchsticksmuriel cigars Matchbook holder, one would discard the empty matchbook (and whatever advertising it displayed), but the advertising on the more permanent matchbook holder would still be retained for further use. Nevertheless, the product was never very popular and I would say that many, if not most, antique dealers are unfamiliar with the matchbook holder.

I’ve been collecting these things for about 15 years, and I have an extensive collection. I am most interested in obtaining matchbook holders with advertising, but I am open to any new addition to my collection, including matchbook holder packaging, catalogs and pages from catalogs, correspondence from the manufacturers, etc.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about match safes or matchbook holders, they can visit the International Match Safe Association.

A. Denes

Shelley miniature cups wanted; complimentary appraisals offered

I am a long-term subscriber to the Antique Trader and would appreciate your kind consideration of the following for inclusion in a subsequent Picker’s List. My wife and I have been avid collectors of Shelley (English China) miniature cups and saucers for more 25 years and are long-term members of the National Shelley China Club.

Many “rarer” patterns have eluded us, and there are many more we continue to discover that we have never seen before. We will offer a very generous premium over any traditional or online auction estimates for any of interest to us.

We are also offering “multiple” Shelley minis, including many rarer patterns from our extensive accumulation of duplicates for minis we are seeking.

Finally, we will provide a complimentary market appraisal for any Shelley minis brought to our attention that we are not interested in obtaining. Thanks for your consideration.

R. J. Hoffman

A vote for Shirley Chisolm campaign itemsI’m looking for a source where I can purchase Shirley Chisholm campaign items.




– N. Kimbrough

goldie gumball laying chicken
Sweet on gumball-laying chickens

Where has Goldie gone? She seems to have left the farm. I found these once, but they seem to have disappeared.

Can anyone help me find different colors of Goldie, the gumball-laying chicken? She stands about 3 inches tall and can be carded or loose.

She is made by Superior Toy and distributed by EggVille USA. Help me bring my hens home to roost!

-B. Acker

Ceramic auto, truck planters wanted; trades available

I collect vintage ceramic planters in the shape of automobiles and trucks only. I have been collecting since 1972 and have a collection of more than 300 different planters, and more than 400 duplicates.

I would like to communicate with other collectors, buyers and sellers.  Some porcelain planters have been given to me, and some I have paid as much as $300.

I would like to share my hobby with others, and would like to buy, sell and trade. If anyone wants more information, please contact me by e-mail at….ceramic car auto planter

– W. Boak

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