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What is a "Pyrogene" or "Matchstriker"?

Porcelain matchstrikers, known as "Pyrogene" after one of the major manufacturers, were a feature of every bistrot table. Many carried advertising for the leading absinthe marques. The striking surface was usually porcelain, occasionally a wooden insert.

Longwy Mugnier Pyrogene
Extremely rare "emaux de Longwy" pyrogene made for Absinthe Mugnier.
Absinthe Jandard & Absinthe Jygee
2 pyrogenes with a bell, for calling the waiter, concealed in the base
Unusual rectangular Absinthe Junod pyrogene Absinthe Premier Fils
An early Royer Hutin Pyrogene Royer Hutin
Cusenier Verte Pyrogene
All items (unless otherwise noted) are from the collection at our sister site:!