While a handful of museums exist dedicated to matchboxes, the only museum in the world dedicated to the labels of matchboxes is located in the small town of Tumanyan, halfway between Yerevan and Tbilisi.
Matchbox label collecting was once a common hobby, especially in the Soviet Union where factories produced extra runs of labels for collectors. The collecting of match-related items is known as phillumeny, and collectors clubs have been across the globe.
A collection of over 10,000 matchbox labels is on display in this small museum. While there are many Soviet labels, the museum includes labels from around the world, from Europe to India, along with Japan and Australia. Countless themes are covered throughout the museum, though the collection seems to highlight labels having to do with public education campaigns, crafts, flags and coats of arms, space, humor, puzzles, and match-themed labels.
The labels give a glimpse into eras in which they were produced, highlighting the important issues of the times and design trends over the decades.
Know Before You Go
The museum's hours are normally Tuesday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., but you can visit by appointment as well.