The Decor Detail You Didn’t Know You Needed: The Match Striker

Jul 15, 2020

Simple, highly functional, reduces clutter and is appealing to the eye. Let me introduce you to the match striker.

Where have I been? I will admit freely, I knew nothing about match strikers until this spring when British interior designer Rita Konig casually mentioned them in her design course, and consequently was sitting directly next to one on the side table next to her in the video shot (it was a vintage glass and sterling silver orb similar to this one).

Not only does a match striker hold your matches, but it also allows you the ability to light the match upon it as well eliminating the need for any matchbooks or matchboxes or lighters which are either hideous to lay out and about or dangerous depending upon which you are speaking about. (Note: Make sure you have ‘Strike Anywhere’ matches – look for the white dot on the tip of the match as you can see in my photos above and below.)

Any novice potter can make a simple match striker seen in the images of the two I now have in my home (I paid under $25 for each). The majority of the holder is glazed, leaving the bottom rougher enabling a match to be struck successfully.

Match strikers can be made of sterling sliver and glass as well. Etsy is full of them, which is where I found one of mine, but you really can find then wherever antiques or ceramics are sold. The key is to have a rough surface to quickly strike the match against to encourage it to come alight.

Speaking of antiques, there are lovely treasures to be found when it comes to match strikers, and if you are shopping online you will likely be asked to pay a pretty penny. From France, from Britain, from many European countries, match strikers are a small, yet significant detail that reveals your careful attention to both function and beauty. I have shopped a few from Etsy below where I found these items to be more affordable, but there are many more here and all of their French match strikers here. One King’s Lane has match strikers, and 1stdibs is also a wonderful place to shop for vintage and antique treasures – here are their match strikers (although at a bit steeper price).

The match striker I have in my bedroom (seen in the below images) is from Henro Company which makes seven different styles, all under $30.

~three of HENRO Company’s Match Strikers~

Needless to say, I am going to be keeping my eyes open for match strikers for each place in my home where I have a candle to eliminate the matchbook that I used to have sitting either next to the candle or in a drawer (but I would always forget which drawer). The size is minimal, and the simplicity is lovely. All the more inspiration to create a lovely candlelit setting and relax with a good book.

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18 thoughts on “The Decor Detail You Didn’t Know You Needed: The Match Striker

  1. They’re all beautiful in their own way! I’ve had an old French one for years and found that the kind of match you use is critical…it must be the two toned match to work well! They are getting harder to find. The solid colored ones work very poorly. So, the question I have for you is, where did you find your matches??

    1. The matches were found in a grocery store. They were the everyday box varietal. Again, as I shared in the post, make sure you purchase ‘Strike Anywhere’ matches (white dit on the top) and you are set! ☺️

  2. Brilliant! I am looking for ways to eliminate plastic, and an easy way to go back to matches is just the thing. Sometimes the old ways are better, aren’t they? I will share my revelation of the season: knife rests. They make everything easy!

  3. A practical need and turned into something beautiful. I will be on the look out myself for these to place around my home. Thank you!

  4. I laughed out loud when I read this! We’re right on trend for a change without even knowing it. Years ago my husband’s granddaughter made us what was supposed to be an eggcup, except it’s not quite the right shape to hold an egg (it was her first ceramics project & not a bad effort all around). I jammed a handful of matches into it & stuck it on the mantel in the family room to light candles & the fireplace, using the rough unglazed bottom as a strike plate. I thought I was just being very clever — not that I knew what I was doing! I’ve never heard of matchstrikers until now. I can hardly wait to tell her how stylish she is 🙂

  5. Great post. I really like match strikers and have been collecting vintage French advertising ones for 20 years. Two aspects I’ve found: You want to be able to take the match and strike it with one hand in one movement (just like they do in the movies in the 40s), so 1) matches should be stored tip down (unless you’re good at flipping it in your hand) and 2) striking surface has to be available and effective on the side (or sloped base) so you don’t need to pick up the striker. Also, Strike Anywhere matches were unavailable in my urban area (some law to keep us “safe”), and in humid weather, if they’ve been in the striker for a while, they sometimes don’t work well.

  6. I have never heard of a striker before today, and now I can’t imagine living without one!!
    Such a simple concept, one of those “why didn’t t I think of this before” kind of things.
    I am a potter, and am looking forward to making my own, one for every candle, perhaps?!

  7. I particularly enjoy the Henro brand you shared. I always try to hide my typical plastic lighters after lighting my candles, and this would be so pleasant!! I also love how it feels a bit like stepping back in time.

    1. Sydney, yes, I completely understand – I too was trying to find a hiding spot for my matchbook. 🙂 Henro offers the match strikers at such great prices. Thank you for sharing and for stopping by!

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