The decline of smoking has largely eliminated a once-common accessory from many homes: the match striker. But candles and firewood still need to be lit, so a new wave of small manufacturers has been giving the tool renewed attention.
Sure, you could use a paper matchbox. But a well-designed match holder with a rough surface for lighting strike-anywhere matches is “so much prettier,” said Michelle Nussbaumer, an interior designer in Dallas. “I love them on a cocktail table.”
Ms. Nussbaumer collects vintage spherical strikers, made of crystal or wood with a silver ring at the top, and covets those made by Asprey. “You see them at flea markets all the time,” she said. “Almost every room in my house has one or two.”
Of course, not everyone knows how to use them.
“I don’t think the younger generation even knows what a match striker is,” she said. “They might take a match out and not realize you can strike it on the side.”
How many matches should a striker hold? It depends on how often it will be used. “They can be as small as one that holds 12 matches,” Ms. Nussbaumer said, or “they can be as big as a softball.”
Is the weight important? Yes: The heavier, the better, she said, so it doesn’t easily tip over.
What kind of matches are best? Any strike-anywhere matches will work, but “it’s fun when you have pretty tips,” Ms. Nussbaumer said, noting that she has searched out matches with tips in a range of colors, including red, green, purple and yellow.
Cast-iron match striker by Josh Owen
$30 at Areaware: 800-783-5683 or areaware.com
Smoked Glass Match Cloche
Storage container by Skeem Design with striker strip on the back
$28 at Bespoke Post: 888-565-6762 or bespokepost.com
Utility Can Match Striker
Glazed stoneware match striker
$42 at Farmhouse Pottery: 802-457-7486 or farmhousepottery.com
Sliding Match Safe
Steel match safe with knurled-brass knob for striking
$32 at Best Made Co.: 888-708-7824 or bestmadeco.com