Greek Pyres -old

The Greek pyres

The greek pyres

The course of the Greek pyres begins near the end of the 19th century.

The Law of Arxes on March 27, 1884 describes and defines in detail the total 12 classes of fires (different packaging, different materials, different quantities of matches)

Matches Catalogue

1st Period

  • The matchbox with the well-known abbreviated name “PYREIA SAFE” with specifications of 5th class, contains 55 safety matches, wooden. It was built in the Bavarian city of Augsburg in 1890 and circulated until 1912. It exists in two series where in the 1st it mentions “COMPANY OF PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL WORKS” while in the 2nd “COMPANY” UNION “IN AUGUST”

The box with the indication “PARER VESTAS” that remained as its name, 12th class, each. Made in Moravia in 1890 and painted until 1912.

“Acropolis Rock” 1900 wooden box, small size, probably made in Sweden around 1900 with security tape. Writes “Pyreia 5 MINUTES IOC”

  • The matchbox known as “GREEK MONOPOLY FIRE” with 5th class specifications, contains 55 safety matches and is wooden. Made in Sweden in the first decade of 1900 and released until 1912.

“PYRES OF GREEK MONOPOLY OF NEW COUNTRIES”. Matchbox known with this somewhat strange indication, intended to be used exclusively in the Greek areas recaptured by the wars of 1912-13. Made in Sweden in 1915 and is wooden. They were released around 1934.

  • “Macedonia” pyres of 3rd class of 1915, small size, made in Sweden, wooden.
  • “Crete” Folder 4th class of 1915 made in Sweden in two sizes

“TEMI RODI” 3rd class matchbox of about 1915 small size that was released in Rhodes and the surrounding islands. Probably made in Italy

“Tsolias” made in Finland around 1930, wooden.

PYREIA Ethn. Phil. Branches, Valoukli Hospital, large wooden box of matches whose good condition is due to its silver case in which there is a name (Cleo), embossed bear on the right and date 26/10/1930. The box is older, at the back an appeal to philanthropists to buy these matches to boost asylum. On the side it has information about the patients and the staff of the well-known Istanbul Hospital 1st class

Κουτί σπίρτων του 1936 που απεικονίζεται ο Κωνσταντίνος Κονδύλης ο πρώτος Έλληνας λαμπαδηδρόμος στην ιστορία των Ολυμπιακών αγώνων στην αφή της Ολυμπιακής φλόγας που έγινε για πρώτη φορά στην Αρχαία Ολύμπια το καλοκαίρι του 1936 για τους Ολυμπιακούς αγώνες του Βερολίνου. Εμφανίζεται σε τρεις διαφορετικές εκδόσεις στην πρώτη γράφει στην πρόσοψη στο κάτω αριστερό τμήμα ALSING LONDON

“Athena” 1st class wooden box around 1950-60

« Greek dancers »1st class wooden box around 1950-60

“Mykonos” 1st class wooden box 1950-60. There is also the exact same cardboard box and large size 6th class. They were released with a security tape that conveyed the message: Prefer Greek Products

“Apollo” 1st class wooden box arround 1950-60

“Columns” 1st class wooden box arround 1950-60 with safety tape

“Deer of Rhodes” 1st class wooden box arround1950-60

“Phaethon” 1st class wooden box arround 1950-60

“National Lottery” 1st class wooden box arround 1950-60

“22nd Thessaloniki International Fair” 1st class wooden box of 1957

Next chronologically is the Deer, 1st class wood, ie it contains 40 fires. They were built between 1950-60. Mykonos and the Deer of Rhodes are much harder to find than the Deer.

Later the technology evolved, and after 1961 the 12 classes merged into 4 Types (A, B, C and D).

Specifically :

Type A ‘: paper matchboxes with 50 matches

Type B: paper matchboxes with 40 matches

Type C: paper matchboxes with 30 matches

Type D: sachet with 20 paper matches.

Type D, which corresponded to the fourth class and was a “sachet with 20 sulfur and phosphorus-free safety papers, made of paper”, such as modern advertising matches that have a cardboard stem and you “cut” them one by one through the sachet.
In 1961 begins the 2nd period of the fires of the Greek monopoly. The Artemis matchbox is made, which is type AD, ie it contains 50 fires.

During this period, from 1961 onwards, matches of the monopoly will be released until 1986, when the Greek monopoly is abolished. They will be released in addition to what I mention below and individually that will promote banks, hotels, insurance company and commercial products. All these are in the collection and are also displayed in the photos.

  1. 1961-1968 “ARTEMIS” (Single wooden)

Wooden matchbox of 1961, the first made by the new factory of Velpex …

This is where the 2nd period of the Greek Monopoly Pyres begins …

It is an A’ type, ie it contains 50 fires … Its circulation was 1,182,000 pieces and was manufactured until 1968. These matchboxes were released with security tapes that carried various messages such as:

“Protect forests”

“Do not throw lighted cigarettes”

“Do you prefer Greek products”

“Are you buying state lotteries”

“By buying lotteries you win and strengthen the institutions”

The label appears in three different shades: white, yellow and beige. In this matchbox we have a lot of misprints mainly because the labels are often not well glued. The photos show the different variations in the color of Artemis’ label, but also the different security tapes on each matchbox.

  1. 1968-1972 – “April 21”

Although old, it is quite common … The 2nd and last wooden matchbox, (then the paper ones start). It is type A ‘, released on March 20, 1968, produced by VELPEX SA. , depicting on its front the sign of April 21st. Circulation 460,000,000 pieces, some of which have safety belts, which from time to time carried various slogans.


In February 1972 we have a new version of this matchbox in 180,000,000 pieces. It is produced by the same factory with the mark of April 21 on a label, affixed to a cardboard box, dark blue, without the indication GREEK MONOPOLY.


With the mark of April 21, three more editions were made, two in a wooden matchbox (one Austrian and one Polish) and one in Cypriot paper made in marine color.

In a photo here and in its second edition, of 1972, in a cardboard matchbox now, and with completely different colors. It was published in two different types:

Type A ‘with 50 matches and Type B’ with 40 (the thinnest), made in Cyprus.

Much more hard to find than the “April 21” audience with normal colors.

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At the beginning of 1972, the Greek Monopoly released for the first time a commemorative series of 10 paper matchboxes (until then it produced only individually), depicting heroes of the revolution of 1821. On the back they bear the mark of April 21st.

It is A ‘type with a circulation of 228,722,000 pieces, although a relatively large circulation, the series is quite hard to find in good condition and complete!

There are two varieties, with different reverse types. One with white background and one with orange. The series with the orange reverse is much rarer.

4. 1972 - " Stamps of the Olympic Games 1896" (8 pieces)

They were issued from May 1 to July 30, 1972. Commemorative series of 8 paper matchboxes depicting the first Greek sports stamps issued in the 1st Olympiad of 1896.

On the back they depict the logo of the Olympic Games and are considered a commemorative series on the occasion of the 20th Olympics in Munich. They were released only 3 months with a circulation of 30 million pieces and are A ‘type.

This series is also quite hard to find. It differs from the later series in that it consists of 8 matchboxes and not 10 like most.

5. 1972 - " Ancient Ceramic Art"

A series of 10 paper matchboxes depicting archaic pottery from the Museum of Kerameikos. On the back there is a decorative pattern. 66 million units were released. It is type B (ie a thin box with 40 matches). There is also a variety with a beige background on the facades instead of white.

6. 1972 - "Ομολογιακόν Δάνειον 1972" ( Μεμονωμένο )

This matchbox is type A (50 matches), it was released in 80 million pieces and

on its front depicts a signal with three arrows and has the phrase SUBSCRIBE IN


7. 1973 - " Greek Gardens-Flowers"

Series of 10 paper matchboxes A ‘type depicting Greek flowers.

700 million copies were circulated in two editions until 1975. In the first edition above and below the letters is white, while in the second edition there are rectangular black backgrounds. The “almond” matchbox is the same in both versions.

At first these matchboxes were released all over Greece but then their circulation was limited only in the province.

8. 1973 - " Greek Local Costumes"

A series of 10 paper matchboxes depicting Greek local costumes from

collection of the Lyceum of Greek Women. 420 million units were circulated until 1977. It is A ‘type. In this series we have an error, in the matchbox “Sifnos”! In the normal and public Sifnos looks to the left, while in the wrong and rare one it looks to the right!

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Series of 10 paper matchboxes B ‘type, with paintings by K. Volonakis from the National Gallery.

Circulation 290 million pieces in 4 editions:

Version A: On the back above the sign HELLENIC MONOPOLY and below

from the indication GREEK STATE MONOPOLY the background is white (rarer than the others).

Version B: On the back top & amp; under the above indications there is for

Archaic meander color decoration by the sea.

C version: On the back top & amp; under the indications black backgrounds. Also the letters of the DG edition are more intense than the A ‘. In all three versions, the matchsticks have a red head.

D version: Same as C ‘with the difference that the matchsticks have a green head.

Far more rare is the first edition.

10. 1976 - " Acropolis - Dionysus Theater" (2 paper sachets D 'type)

A series of two sachets of type D (20 paper matches) depicting the Acropolis and the Dionysus Theater as well, in two versions, one with a blue and one with a red border.

11. 1977 - " Greek Forests"

March 1977 A series of 10 paper matchboxes on the subject of reforestation and the usefulness of forest wealth. It is only type B (40 matches).

12. 1977 -"Greek Red Cross – 100 years in the service of man"

Commemorative series with 10 paper matchboxes for the 100 years of the Greek Red Cross. They depict scenes from the activity of Ε.Ε.Σ.

Difficult series with small circulation. Issued in A ‘and B’ type. Circulation of 6 million pieces each type.
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13. 1977 - " Nautical Week 1977"

June 1977. The first commemorative series of 10 paper matchboxes out of the 5 released in total (1977-78-79-80 and 1982) and depict various boats mainly warships. Circulation 30 million pieces of A ‘type and 20 cm. B’ type. Although its circulation is not the smallest of the 5 years of Nautical Week, it is still difficult to find it!

14. 1977 - " Lacalut Fluor` Toothpaste" (Single matchbox)

In January 1977, 5 million pieces of paper matchbox were released in small quantities

A ‘type. Advertising version

15. 1977 - " Agricultural Bank of Greece" (Single matchbox)

“ATE gives more interest” In February 1977 it was released in small circulation

5 million pieces of A ‘type paper matchbox. Advertising version.

16. 1977 - " Credit Bank" (Individual matchbox)

In June 1977, a paper matchbox in A ‘type was released. On the front it says CREDIT BANK. Hard to find. Advertising version.

Apart from these individuals, many other individuals listed in the “Countries” category have been released.

17. 1977 - " Exportable Greek Products"

1st series “Hellenic Export Promotion Organization” In December 1977, only 50,000 were built for the first time in Lavrio (Velpex)! Type B matchboxes, which depict on their front 10 different exportable products. These matchboxes will NOT be released in Greece but in the International Exhibitions abroad in which our country participates.

2nd series “Export Promotion Organization (OPE)” 1978 In May 1978 only 100,000 were built! matchboxes type B ‘identical on the front with those released in December 1977 while on the back except for the OPE mark. also have the data HELLENIC ORGANIZATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF EXPORTS. These matchboxes were promoted in Bulgaria for free distribution to the visitors of the exhibition of Hellenic Industrial & amp; Craft products and were NOT released in Greece.

18. 1978 - " 150 years of the Battle of Navarino"

October 21, 1977 marked the 150th anniversary of the naval battle of Navarino and in memory of the event a series of 10 pieces was released. These matchboxes are A ‘type in 20 million pieces and B’ type in 10 million pieces.

The A ‘type was released in mid-June 1978 while the B’ type later.

19. 1978 - " Nautical Week 1978`

At the beginning of July 1978, the 2nd series of 10 pieces on the subject of the navy was released.

They were issued in A ‘type with a circulation of 10 million pieces and B’ type with 5 million pieces.

The most difficult of the five “Nautical Weeks”, especially the 2nd type!

20. 1979 - " Embroidery of Crete"

“Year for the Greek tradition”. A series of 10 paper matchboxes that was released in May 1979 as part of events for the year of “Greek Tradition” in replacement of Greek local costumes. It is type A ‘.

21. 1979 - " Ceramic Art Items" Folk ceramics

A series of 10 paper matchboxes that was released in May 1979 as part of events for the year of “Greek Tradition” in replacement of the Greek Forests of 1977. They are A ‘and B’ type.

22. 1979 - " Nautical Week"

A series of 10 paper matchboxes with the same facades as the 1978 Nautical Week.

Also A and B type as of 1978.

The difference is that on the back it has a similar sign with different shades but the sky blue instead of white and also the sea dark brown / black instead of white.

Another key difference is that the year is NOT listed at all. He also writes HELLENIC MONOPOLY instead of GREEK MONOPOLY which he wrote in 1978.

23. 1979 - " International Year of the Child"

Series of 10 paper match boxes A and B ‘type. On the back it says “Humanity owes the Child the best he has to give.”

UN Declaration for the Rights of the Child (1959)

24. 1979 - " Energy Saving" (5 pieces)

“Energy without waste” Series of 5 pieces of paper matchboxes. Circulation A ‘type

30 million pieces, and type B 10 million pieces. Here we have identical fronts and different backs in each of the 5 matchboxes. So they have the following different slogans on the back:

Good engine maintenance and prudent driving save petrol.

Good thermal insulation means warmth in winter, coolness in summer and fuel economy.

Regular maintenance of heating systems pays off many times over in fuel economy.

The solar water heater saves electricity.

In the first type boxes we have two versions that on the back one writes “HELLENIC MONOPOLY” and the other “HELLENIC MONOPOLY”. There is also a variety of type A with a beige background instead of white.

25. 1980 - " 50 years of Air Force" (6 pieces)

A series of 6 paper matchboxes with an aviation theme. Issued in A ‘and B’ type.

26. 1980 - " Images from the Greek islands"

Series of 10 paper matchboxes A ‘type only with themes from Paros, Paxos, Rhodes, Kefalonia, Mykonos, Corfu, Corfu-Achillion, Paros, Symi and from Knossos.

A photo from Mykonos has been entered in “Paros” incorrectly. It is not a mistake, however, it applies to all “Paros” matchboxes.

27. 1980 - " Images of Greek islands from the EOT archive"

2nd row of 10 paper matchboxes with the theme of our islands.

It is only type B and presents topics from Mytilene, Milos, Samos, Sifnos, Kos, Symi, Rhodes, Delos, Sifnos. In this 2nd row the letters on the back are blue, while in the 1st row black.

28. 1980 - " Nautical Week 1980"

The 4th series Nautical Week. It consists of 10 paper matchboxes and was released in A ‘type and B’ type with 5 million copies. Difficult series with small circulation!

29. 1980 - " Ancient Olympic Games"

Series of 10 paper matchboxes A ‘and B’ type of the Greek monopoly with representations from ancient games.

30. 1980 - " Fire Brigade"

“50 years in the fight against fire” 1980. A series of 10 paper matchboxes A ‘and B’ type with a circulation of only 5 million pieces in each type. Difficult series. On the front are photos from the activities of the Fire Service. From this row onwards, all rows are numbered on the back with blue or yellow numbers from 1 to 10 for the 10 different matchboxes in each row.

31. 1980 - " Cigarette or Health? "

series of 10 paper match boxes A type and B ‘type. On the back it says WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SERVICES GREEK STATE MONOPOLY

Type A with a very small circulation of only 2.5 million pieces and type B with a small circulation of 5 million pieces.

Type A is definitely one of the most difficult series of the Greek Monopoly.

32. 1981 - " State Lottery"

“State Lotteries” 1981 Series of 10 paper match boxes A ‘and B’ type, made by VELPEX. It advertises all state lotteries such as Laiko, Ethniko and Kratiko while on the back it carries various slogans. Its circulation is: Type A 15 million pieces and Type B 5 million pieces. Type B especially is one of the hard to find series of the Greek Monopoly.

33. 1982 - " Scout Guides"

“50 YEARS OF GREEK DRIVING” 1982 series of 10 paper matchboxes

Type A with only 3 million pieces. From this series onwards, Formulas and Classes are abolished. All matchboxes are now available only in type A ‘(50 matches). Difficult series!

34. 1982 - " Nautical Week 1982"

Η 5η και τελευταία σειρά με θέμα “Ναυτική Εβδομάδα” . Εκδόθηκε σε Α’ τύπο και έχει τιράζ 10 εκατ. τεμάχια.
I 5i kai teleftaía seirá me théma “Naftikí Evdomáda” . Ekdóthike se A’ týpo kai échei tiráz 10 ekat. temáchia.
The 5th and last series on “Nautical Week”. It was issued in type A and has a circulation of 10 million pieces.

35. 1982 - " Pan-European Games 1982"

“XIII EUROPEAN SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP” series of 10 paper A ‘type matchboxes with the theme of the hare and the turtle competing in various sports. On the back, apart from “GREEK MONOPOLY”, it is also written at the bottom “GREEK STATE MONOPOLY”

36. 1982 - " 60 years of the Smyrna Catastrophe"

“60 YEARS WITHOUT ASIA MINOR” 1982 series of 10 paper matchboxes only A type with

photographs of Greek philosophers, important events, places, etc. Circulation 10 million pieces.

37. 1982 - " Hellenic Gendarmerie"

“HELLENIC Gendarmerie” 1983 series of 10 paper match boxes A ‘type for 150

years of the Greek gendarmerie. Circulation of the series 10 million pieces. Difficult series

38. 1983 - " Tourism in Greece"


A ‘type matchboxes with topics from Greece such as cycling, swimming, fishing,

Horseback riding etc. Back view says GREEK STATE MONOPOLY at the bottom.

The name “match” also refers to strong alcoholic beverages, in corruption of the Latin “spiritum” (English spirit), which refers, mainly in English, to alcoholic beverages.

Metaphorically, the term “match” refers to the very intelligent person, unless we say “lit match”, in which case we mean the opposite.


match & lt; Italian spirito (alcohol, spirit) [1] & lt; Latin spiritus

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Hatzidakis song