Czech matchbox cards

Old Czech Matchbox Labels

We’ve been in the process of doing up the office at home for what feels like forever. Its been slow progress because this room has been good for storing bulky items like bathroom suites, away from the main living space. Poor Scott was sat working next to a new toilet bowl at one point! Once everything was out of the way we had a big Spring clean and painted a plum red feature wall. At the weekend we finally hung up the finishing touch. A wooden frame filled with old Czech matchbox cards. They were a bit of an impulse buy (from Present & Correct) but you know me, I’m a sucker for old illustrations, I can’t help myself. Let me show you some of the cards.

These translations are all very rough, I’m sure the text was originally written with much more elegance. Even so, it’s nice to have a rough idea of what is being said.

Illustrated matchbox cards


Top left: “Photography club. Artistic interests”. Top middle: “Dr. Aleshrdlicka. Top world anthropologist. 100 years. Celebratory birthday”. Top right: “Create suitable space for school clubs”. Bottom left: “Avoid dangerous activities”. Bottom right: “Maintain a clean workplace”.

Illustrated matchbox cards


Top left: “Not for every speed in the field”. Top middle: “Orphan hotel”. Top right: “Puppets. The golden brand”. Bottom left: “15 years. Largest supplier of flats in Czechoslovakia”. Bottom right: “Home accessories”.

Illustrated matchbox cards


Top middle: “Protected. Alpine. Glacial carnation”. Top right: “Sports on a beautiful holiday in the CSSR. State savings bank. Bottom left: “Intercosmos. Result of a joining of states”.

Illustrated matchbox cards


Left: “This is the sun”. Bottom right: “Rehearse with us”.

Pile of illustrated cards

Cards arranged neatly in lines


Second row from bottom, left: “Do not share influenza”. Bottom right: “Poisoning gases. Artificial respiration. The fresh air. Free clothing “.

This is how the cards look all laid out in the frame. We are really pleased with it! Every time I look at them I notice something new.

Matchbox cards arranged in frame

Wooden frame on wall

It appears I’m rather partial to a translation project! First the vintage Swedish postcards, now this. I was going to do a quick post about the illustrations on the cards and instead I’ve spent my evening translating the text…

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