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eMedals- A First War German “Kaiser Wilhelm II” Matchbox Cover

Item: G29050

A First War German “Kaiser Wilhelm II” Matchbox Cover

Sale Date: March 17, 2017 Hammer Price


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A First War German “Kaiser Wilhelm II” Matchbox Cover

A First War (Imperial) German Kaiser Wilhelm II matchbox cover; constructed of gilded pressed sheet metal (magnetic); crimped on one side; featuring a stamped portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II”; two of the sides partially cut out to allow the fingers to slide the matchbox out of the cover once empty and to strike the match on the igniter strip; with a cut-out on the bottom to push out the matchbox drawer; measuring 60 mm x 40 mm x 18 mm; better than very fine condition.

Footnote: Prior to the invention of the safety match, the production of matches was extremely dangerous due to use of white phosphorous in the production process. The modern safety match utilized red phosphorus, but not in the head of the match, but rather on a specially designed striking surface. These matches were deemed true “safety matches” due to the separation of the reactive ingredients between the match head and the striking surface. The head of the match was specially paraffin-impregnated, and would only ignite if struck against the igniting strip on the matchbox. Matches were invaluable to the war, as smoking was a past time amongst soldiers and worked to calm the nerves. As matches were a rare, and valuable commodity, soldiers would plunder the uniforms of fallen enemies for matches. Often, allied soldiers found German matchbox covers that protected the matchboxes from being crushed, broken, and partially from moisture, explaining why the matchboxes found in some of these bringbacks contain matchboxes with english labels.

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