Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Light of India - A Conflagration of Indian Matchbox Art

Our good pal Tom Rooney of Pavlov's Togs brought by this wonderful book Light of India, A Conflagration of Indian Matchbox Art, by for me to thumb through and drool over a while back. I am FINALLY taking the time to scan it and post about it (then sadly give it back).

This colorful book is a dazzling collection of more than 300 vintage matchbox labels from India, dating from the turn of the century through the 1950s, each one is even better than the one before. Abounding with pouncing Bengal tigers, regal jungle elephants, and Hindu gods and goddesses, each miniature masterpiece is so skillfully produced, yet some done ever so simply. I could look at this book time and time again and find something new to look at each time.

Here are just a few of my favs:


Delicious Industries said...

I love vintage matchbooks, the colours and the print quality just make them so appealing. This book looks great - the tiger one has to be my favourite!

Anonymous said...

Such fine and fun work on vintage matchbooks, it's almost a shame that smoking is going out of fashion.


8ate said...

It's a truly awesome book. In India these design often tend to 'borrowed' from already existing popular designs and logos. Here's some info. about two of the images that you have selected:
The design for the first one (cat) actually comes from the logo of Eveready Batteries...they still quite popular in India.
The design of second elephant (Appu) comes from the logo of 1982 Delhi Asiad games whose mascot was an elephant named Appu (died 2005).

Anonymous said...

the cat is the old Eveready logo!!