Swan Vestas matches

photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC
A box of Swan Vestas on the desk of M (top) and Sir Hilary Bray
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC

photo © eBay
Vintage Swan Vestas matchbox, similar to the one seen in the Bond films
photo © eBay

photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC
Swan Vestas on M's desk in The Man With The Golden Gun, Moonraker and Octopussy
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLC

One of the more subtle products placed in Bond films are Swan Vesta matches. The brand is mentioned in the Ian Fleming novel You Only Live Twice and we can see Swan Vestas in the movies On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), The Man With The Golden Gun (1975), Moonraker (1979) and Octopussy (1983).

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond himself uses a lighter to light his cigarettes, but both M and the real Sir Hillary Bray have a box of Swan Vesta matches on their desk to light their pipes. The pack of Swan Vestas can be spotted on M's desk when Bond resigns.

The matches can be seen on M's desk in The Man With The Golden Gun, Moonraker and Octopussy.

The design of the box in the film has the design with "The Smoker's Match" text block over the red and green Swan logo. The side of the box can be spotted in Moonraker (see screeshots), and there we can see red Swan logos on each side of what probably reads "The Smoker’s Match" as well (although this is not confirmed).

Find original vintage Swan Vestas matches boxes on eBay and you can find the new Swan boxes in UK supermarkets or online at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

The brand is also mentioned in the Ian Fleming novel You Only Live Twice (published in 1964). During the meeting with M, Sir James Molony lights a Romeo Y Julieta cigar with a Swan Vesta match. "He lit a Swan Vesta and waved its flame to and fro across the tip and sucked gently until he had got the cigar going to his satisfaction." (Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice)

The Swan brand began in 1883 when the Collard & Kendall match company in Bootle on Merseyside near Liverpool introduced 'Swan wax matches'. Later versions formed of a wooden splint soaked in wax. In 1906 the matches were christened 'Swan Vestas', named after Vesta, the Roman goddess of 'hearth, home and family'. By the 1930s 'Swan Vestas' had become 'Britain's best selling match'. The brand is currently owned by the Swedish Match company and also produces filters.

If you spotted a box of Swan Vestas in another Bond film, please send a message here.

Product Code: 
ac062

Bond Lifestyle Gift Guide 2017

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