193. Item #90643
[Matchbox and Matchbook Labels - rinpyō 燐票 album]
16 x 23cm flocked fabric-covered scrapbook of matchbox and matchbook labels (rinpyō 燐票) opens Japanese style. 2 hole binding with thin black rope ties. Gold star decoration and Japanese text printed in gold on front board. Over 400 labels, approx 3.5 x 5.5cm, are laid down on  black paper pages, with 3 labels missing. Handwritten name in pen 長谷川信一 (Hasegawa Shin’ichi?) on free endpaper in front.
Some of the colorful labels are pure Deco design, while others have Japanese and English text in modern and traditional lettering styles. A design of two gold bats on a light green background advertises Golden Bat cigarettes, a Japanese brand introduced in 1906 that only recently ended production in 2019. Another brand of cigarettes, Air Ship, features artwork of mountains, planes and a blimp in blue and orange. Images include iconic cartoon characters Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse, silent film star Charlie Chaplin, women in kimono and western dress, realistic illustrations of ships and buildings and lovely abstract floral and linear designs.
In terms of dating the collection, the Betty Boop character became popular in Japan in the 1930s, long before the cartoon was released there in the 1950s. The triangular cut-out in the depictions of Mickey Mouse’s eyes point to the 1930s, before the fully rounded iris developed in the 1940s.
Japanese text printed on the cover, 在營[営]記念 歩兵第四十二聯隊 [Zaiei Kinen Hohei Dai Yonjuni Rentai], indicates that the blank album was given in commemoration of the 42nd infantry.
Slight foxing and wear to some labels. A carefully crafted album in good condition.