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The Collector

I was born to be a collector.

When media ask me why – I say that I have in my DNA an extra gene – A collector gene.

At an early age I was collecting rocks and shells. Some years later I began to collect stickers, stamps and beercans. I was eager to expand my mind and to expand my beloved parent’s house – with things.

When I was 10 years old I had a revelation – a collecting revelation, almost like a revolution. This happened in 1975. At that time, young people had other interests besides computers.

My school class began to collect and exchange matchboxes and I just loved it. I was on fire when I collected these little boxes which had a spread of colors, sizes, designs and a creative way to promote products.

I see matchboxes as an artform that combines color and form. They are commercial documents showing new and old brand names and still it’s a useful utility for helping people light up their lives.

My matchbox collection has given me much pleasure over the years. I´ve been travelling all over the world and wherever I laid my hat I took the opportunity to collect matches from hotels and especially from the "leading hotels of the world".

The collection has to date grown to 14 000 different matchboxes from around the world. The collection has been in the “Guinness Book of Records” – the Swedish edition – between 1992 and 1996. The collection has been shown in many different exhibitions and I have had the privilege to be invited to Swedish Television and talk about my “collector” gene.

Since 2010 I have a collaboration with the Swedish city of Jönkoping and their Match Museum. The Match Museum is the only museum in the world that shows the worldfamous Swedish match industry and manufacturing combined with matchbox exhibitions. Because both the museum and my collection are unique – it’s a perfect match.

Every summer the museum has a selection from the “Hill Collection” on display.


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