A good match?

White Hall Matchbox Cover



This month’s object of the month is featured in our current local history display Picturing Rugby.

Matchbox covers appeared in the early 19th century as way of protecting cardboard or wooden matchboxes. As a frequently used item, boxes were easily damaged to the point where they couldn’t be used for striking matches. 
More ornate covers, owned by the wealthy, were made of silver, enamelled, or engraved. Cheaper metals, wood or papier mâché were used for mass produced covers, although they still carried decorations, such as this one. They were also used as souvenirs and advertising. 

This matchbox cover features a small painting, possibly in oil paints, of Whitehall cottage in Rugby.  It is made from metal and would fully cover the top and bottom of a box of matches. The sides are left largely open to allow the matches to be struck on the side of the box. On the base of the matchbox is a handwritten label which reads: 'White Hall, Clifton Road, Warwickshire. By Elizabeth Sarah Ann Cox. Rugby.'


This building stood at the junction of Clifton Road and Lower Hillmorton Road.  A good match?


The cottage was demolished in the 1870s to expand the junction.

Picturing Rugby is on at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum until 5th October.