Brian and I also collect match holders. In the 1800s and 1900s these were used by the stove or by oil lamps. The single pocket ones are usually (as far as I know) for stove use -- you know, take a match, light it, light the stove or fireplace and toss the used match inside.
The double pocket ones were, I think, used for lamps. Take the match from one pocket, light it, light the lamp, put the used match in the second pocket.
We don't know much about match holders, but we like them for their lines and different styles. I have them all on the wall over our woodstove as a display.
The fancier ones like this were probably used in Victorian times.