Reference materials

A number of Reference Books and other materials have been published which contain information about Inserts and the Spanish Matchbox industry. 


  • Los Fabricantes de Cerillas. Two volumes published in 2018. Volume 1 identifies all the match-related articles published in 19th Century newspapers which can be found in the National Library. Volume 2 compiles all the Spanish patents and match marks which can be found in the Historical Archive of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office
  • Las Fábricas Españolas de Cerillas del Siglo XIX y sus Etiquetas. Published in 2016 this book describes and illustrates the Spanish Matchbox Industry in the 19th Century with a particular focus on the factories and families in Seville
  • Fósforos de Cascante. Published in 2008 this book focuses on the industrial history of the factories that operated in the Cascante region of Spain between 1840 and 1990
  • Spanish Matchbox Inserts, by Alan Downer. Published in 1995 by the British Matchbox Label and Booklet Society, this is still the only dedicated publication on Spanish Inserts. This web site is based upon the original research undertaken for this book
  • Siglo y Medio de Fósforos. Published in 1982 by Fosforera Española, this book celebrates 150 years of matchmaking in Spain


Articles and other books containing references to Inserts are listed below :

  1. Floyd’s Label Review / The Phillumenist was a collectors’ magazine issued between 1940 and 1960. It first published a list of Spanish Inserts as an advertisement for the items available from E.H.W.Ltd. (E.H.Woodiwiss), a dealer. Later, four adverts offering Inserts for sale appeared, although none included a complete listing of the full range. Three adverts gave the Series title in English and also prices while the fourth gave prices only. These can be found in issues No. 135 (1955), No.147 (1956) , No.163 (1957), and No.181 (1959).   The most extensive list appeared on the back of Vol.15, No.135, but it does not include Series 31 nor either of Series A or C, nor the colour variations within Series 15.
  2. Matchbox Label NewsE.H.W. Ltd. of London, issued a numbered sales sheet entitled “Matchbox Label News” during the 1950’s. On offer in No.17 are “Spanish Inserts” sets, and the list includes the title in English and the price for Series 1 through Series 28, excluding any reference to the colour variations of Series 15. The prices were as had been printed in the advertisements in The Phillumenist but some of the titles, in English, appeared in a different form.
  3. A Bulletin written by the Associação Portuguesa de Filumenismo in Oporto, Portugal lists 33 numbered Series in addition to the Special Series and the Series A, B, and C, but does not record the colour varieties of Series 15.
  4. História da Indústria Espanhola de Fósforos, published in 1976 by Spanish matchbox collectors in the “Casa de España” in Oporto, Portugal, fails to list Series 33, giving the title of Series 33 to Series 32. This publication is based on material supplied by Luis Tomás Tarazona Vallejo, and does include the colour variations to Series 15.
  5. Vesta Magazine was an independent English monthly magazine run by John Luker. Vesta No.94 issued in 1985 reproduced work by Luis Tomás Tarazona Vallejo. Vesta was also responsible for the printing of a number of other articles relating to the Spanish Match Industry, including “Spanish Matchbox History in the 19th Century”, “Meet These People”, “Match Manufacturers of Spain” (issues No.33 and 34), and “Josep Tomàs Bigas” (issue No.62) and are well worth reading.
  6. British Matchbox Label and Booklet Society Newsletter was issued bi-monthly to members of the Society. It contains the following articles of note : “Labels in Museums” (about Spanish Inserts in the Museo Marès, Barcelona) (issue No.240, p.6584, December 1986) and a page illustrating inner lid labels from springflap matchboxes (issue No.157, page 3757, February 1973).
  7. The Royalty Catalogue by John Luker lists and illustrates twelve Inserts Series which feature Royal subjects (pages 126 – 143 inclusive).
  8. The Matchbox Label Collectors Encyclopaedia, Third Edition (1984) has a number of articles relating to Spain – “Match Manufactures of Spain”, “Josep Tomàs Bigas” and “Spanish Spring Flaps” (pages 577 – 595) – written by Luis Tomás Tarazona Vallejo and translated into English by Mr S.E. Nodder.
  9. “Collecting Matchbox Labels” (1963) and “Matchbox Labels” (1968) are books on the hobby written by Joan Rendell, who for many years was the Editor of the BML&BS Newsletter. The books contain small references to Spanish matchboxes and Inserts.

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