Plastic Sleeves for Matchbooks

I stumbled into an amazing cacaphony of matchbooks about three years ago. Michael Cable’s Woodside Antiques, an auction house in Farmville North Carolina, offered box loads of stuff at the end of a large estate sale. Cable is a marvelous auctioneer who inserts bits of trivia with every round of bidding. I hesitate to admit how much of my household detritus and ephemera was purchased through his auctions. Lots of decapitated dolls and schmucky bric-a-brac which somehow became art…

Responding to the “Who’ll start at twenty? Twenty? Ten? Ten? Five? Five? Five?” and jumping in at FIVE with no competition, I won the mixed lot. We’d arrived late at the auction and didn’t go through this box of joy, so imagine my surprise when what I thought were cigar boxes were actually fruitcake boxes. Ten of them. Filled with matchbooks. And another large Mason Shoe box filled with matchboxes. International in scope and copious in number, this collection is astounding because of its diversity.

So — I searched around for a way to contain them since I needed the fruitcake boxes for an assemblage project. I bought plastic archival quality sleeves from HobbyMaster. Great products, good service, quality — and I don’t get a kickback from the link. If you check the matchbook gallery, you’ll get a pretty good idea on just what came in those fruitcake boxes.

That particular auction was the estate of a woman who saved everything, but not in a hoarder, styrofoam container kind of way. There were letters, boxes of personal correspondence and buyers really snapped to attention when bidding for those. I think one boxful went for over $85 which shows you ephemera is going for more than it used to. Marty was there from ECU’s Joyner Library – he represents the NC Collection, I think. I knew him decades ago when working on a graduate fellowship for Special Collections. His presence signaled “worth something” because his sniffing around means real history is on sale.

So, all of the sudden I’m rambling on about an auction. That’s because I’m trying to figure out what came in through the front door over the last seven years and what needs to go out the back. There’s a yard sale to benefit our local dog park and it’s next week so this gives me the incentive to sweep the halls and closets clean of some of our EXTRAS.

Back to this auction – I bid on another “lot” of items and it turned out to be a boxful of handmade lace, linens and a couple dresses from the Victorian era. Incredibly intricate, beautiful … breathtaking. There’s a photo  in here somewhere of the lace, let me find it and post it.

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