I am surprised that I never started collecting matchbooks. Oh, that's right. I don't smoke. I never smoked beyond some period of teen indiscretion. At its peak the smoking industry put their product and its advertising everywhere. If you owned a restaurant or hotel or any business mid-century you had to have matchbooks printed up for your smoking clientele. This lead to many graphically fascinating designs and advertisements.
These become more collectable as they become scarcer to find. The businesses reflect the times and and the dreams of business owners to have the kind of place people would enjoy and respect. Charles Cafe must have been a unique sports bar that catered to the boxing enthusiast. A similar matchbook is going for $45 on eBay.
I don't know what a "real" French atmosphere is, but at $2.00 for dinner I'd be willing to give it a shot.
Mr. Toffenetti looks like someone I would like to keep happy. Nope, wouldn't be sending anything back to the chef in his place. The quote seems a little backwards, if you get inspired from my satisfaction that's great, but if I'm already satisfied what do I care about your inspiration? He looks like someone just told him that...uh oh!
The Crillon has a listing that goes back as far as the 1930's. Does that put this matchbook around this era? If anyone wants to take a crack at the history of NYC restaurants...I'm all ears. One more in this group, diplomatically speaking that is.
The range of these is quite wide with the UN matchbook coming in during the 1960's. Can you resist a cool matchbook?