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Classes of fruit labels

Frutics usually starts as the collecting of fruit stickers. Pretty quickly the interests of the collector expand, when the same colorful images are found on the stickers on fruits packaging, on a variety of fruit hang-tags, on net-packaging bands, on fruit wrappers, on inserts of fruit boxes and on all other labels accompanying fruits and vegetables products. And then questions arise. Firstly, what kind of labels to collect for himself and what interests of his colleagues by hobby are? Secondly, how can we classify and systematize all this label diversity in order to understand what our fellow-collectors are talking about when there is a dialogue between them, especially when it comes to labels exchanging with other collectors?

After a brief survey analyses of the already accumulated labels in my own collection, I discovered that all this collected material falls into several types or classes by natural way.

In fact similar distribution onto several classes of the world's largest collection of fruit labels have been realized already by French collectors, and each class was given a name  [1]. All this great number of labels (about 175 thousands), presented on the website of French collectors, was distributed into four groups: fruit stickers (130 thousands), fruit wrappers (about 35 thousands), fruit hang-tags or/and "cartonettes" (about 6 thousands) and, finally, labels for fruit mesh-packs (about 2 thousand).

Such a classification is obviously based on the nature of the material already accumulated in collection, quite naturally distributing among these four non-intersecting, i.e. do not alike each other, sets of fruit labels. Indeed, it’s impossible to confuse a sticker with a fruit wrapper or with labels hanging on clusters of fruits or hanging on net-packs of fruits. It is difficult to argue against such a natural and rather pragmatic classification.

However, in many collections there are examples of fruit labels that do not fit into the four classes mentioned. That is why, from my point of view, this classification needs to be somehow supplemented, clarified and detailed. So I will describe my version of the classification based on the above description, but with some necessary clarifications and additions. For the Russian-speaking readers, I will supplement the classification with equivalent Russian terminology. All these aspects will be the theme of this chapter, which narration could be now started.

So the whole set of fruit labels naturally falls down into several non-overlapping classes. Let's proceed to their consistent description.

The first class - the stickers - is the most numerous and the oldest class of fruit labels. The whole great set of stickers - the class of the stickers - quite naturally fall into three sub-classes.

The sub-class: the stickers directly on the fruits (stickers on fruits per se). These stickers are rather diverse by sizes and by shapes (i.e. by notching die).

Fig.1. Randomly selected set of labels with symmetric notching die. The size of the largest sticker is 11 cm in size across, the smallest is slightly less than 1 cm.

Fig.2. Randomly selected set of stickers with asymmetric notching die

Fig.3. One of the largest 30 cm long tape-shaped stickers used for melons pasting in around.

The sub-class: the stickers on the packaging of fruits. Most often, such labels are used in cases when it is impossible to paste stickers directly on the fruit per se, such as, for example, berries, mushrooms, dried fruits, nuts, greens, etc.

Fig.4. Randomly selected set of various stickers on packages with fruits when it is impossible to place stickers directly on fruits per se: dried fruits, greens, nuts, berries, cherry tomatoes, gherkins and mushrooms. The mushroom packaging sticker (in the lower right corner) is 11 cm in size across.

However, sometimes stickers occur for more or less massive packages of conventional large fruits such as apples, potatoes and bananas, shown, for example, in Fig.5 below.

Fig.5. Stickers for massive packages with large fruits: apples, potatoes, bananas. The size of central sticker is 10 cm in diameter.

The stickers on the fruit packages are much larger in sizes than the usual stickers on fruits, so that they are considerably more filled in with textual and graphic information then usual quite small classique stickers.

The subclass of stickers on card-boards or plastic fruit boxes. This is not well-known subclass, because the fruit stickers collectors are usually keen on finding new labels directly on the fruit and pay no attention at all to the walls of fruit boxes where these fruits and vegetables are located. Meanwhile, such stickers exist and could be found sometimes (see Fig.6.).

Fig.6. The stickers which was pasted on citrus fruit boxes. Both stickers are 15 cm long.

Even a cursory overview of the largest collections, presented in the Internet space, shows that most collectors include in their collections, as a rule, stickers on fruit per se and fruit packaging labels (see, for example, [1], [2], [3]). However, there are collections in which packaging stickers are not represented at all (see e.g. [4]). At least I could not find not any in that [4] collection. Stickers on the boxes are probably represented in collections, apparently, by single copies.

A distinctive feature of the class of the stickers is the presence of almost not removable glue, which does not lose its adhesive properties, on the back of each sticker. That's why they are also called self-adhesive labels.

For those who are keen on collecting fruit stickers exclusively, it's possible to suggest the rather convenient term "frusticks" (derived from the words "fruit" and "sticker"), i.e. the term frusticks means the hobby consisting in collecting only fruit stickers.

The second class - fruit wrappers - the next in size after the stickers class of fruit labels. This class - a whole lot of "fruit wrappers" — falls into two subclasses: the subclass of "wrappers" and subclass of "substrates".

A subclass of wrappers - the set of real “classic” fruit wrappers - that is probably the oldest class of fruit labels that appeared, it seems, even before then fruit stickers have appeared. According to some evidence on the Internet (see e.g. [5]), some amateur and very dilettantish collections began to take shape as early as 20s of the last century. So it follows that fruit wrappers could appear almost in the 1900s, although more accurate data haven’t been found yet.

In those years, only citrus fruits — mainly oranges and possibly tangerines — were usually wrapped in thin paper looked like waxed tissue paper, because of what collectors of fruit wrappers began to be called "agrumists" (agrumist [1] from french agrumes - citrus fruits). Over time, fruit wrappers began to be used not only for citrus fruits, but also for apples, pears, persimmons, etc. However, the terms “agrumist” and “agrumistics” associated with collecting of fruit wrappers are used until now.











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