Lucky strike: Brooklyn candle label Keap collaborates on a set of matchboxes

Lucky strike: Brooklyn candle label Keap collaborates on a set of matchboxes
The Brooklyn-based candle company Keap has teamed up with the art object boutique Objectify139 to create a quintet of matchboxes
(Image credit: press)

The humble matchbox has a long history of being one of the smallest media and advertising platforms around. Ever since the 1920s and 30s, these minute surfaces have been adorned with eye-catching graphics and used as a means of branding and communication, so much so that they have become true collectibles in their own right.

Similarly, the Brooklyn-based candle company Keap has tapped into this tradition by teaming up with the art object boutique Objectify 139 in New York’s Lower East Side on a quintet of their own matchboxes. Inspired by Japanese specimens of the matchbox art tradition, the set features five silk-screened designs exhibited on handmade three-inch matchboxes.

‘Matchboxes are one of the most interesting collectible print formats,’ says Keap co-founder Harry Doull. ‘You see them less nowadays, as they have become almost obsolete, so there's something nostalgic about them that's really appealing to us.’

Realised in a primary palette of colours, each of the boxes is delicately decorated with a different New York City scene that will bring a feeling of calm each time it's admired or used. Each illustration has been created by Keap’s art director Dan Arbary in homage to each of the label’s scented candles. When packaged together in its simple slipcase, the boxes line up like books and spell out the Japanese proverb ‘It is better to see the spark before the fire’, again in ode to the historical origins of the project.

‘In addition to the four colored boxes that loosely reference the fragrances, we made a more monotone fifth box that is simply a tribute to our home city. There's no place like Brooklyn,’ Doull adds. ‘The result is simple, light-hearted and with a tint of nostalgia.’

The set has been issued in an edition of 50, making them just as collectible as their predecessors from long ago. A series of tote bags with matching graphics is also available. 

Lucky strike: Brooklyn candle label Keap collaborates on a set of matchboxes

The project was inspired by the tradition of Japanese matchbox art that proliferated in the early-to-mid 20th century

(Image credit: press)

Lucky strike: Brooklyn candle label Keap collaborates on a set of matchboxes

Realised in a primary palette of colours, each of the boxes is delicately decorated with a different New York City scene 

(Image credit: press)

Lucky strike: Brooklyn candle label Keap collaborates on a set of matchboxes

The set features five silk-screened designs exhibited on handmade three-inch matchboxes

(Image credit: press)

Lucky strike: Brooklyn candle label Keap collaborates on a set of matchboxes

Each illustration has been created by Keap’s art director Dan Arbary in homage to each of the label’s scented candles

(Image credit: press)

INFORMATION

Matchboxes, $28 for a set of five, tote bags, $18 each. For more information and purchasing, visit Objectify139’s website (opens in new tab)

ADDRESS

Objectify139
139 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002

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Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.