Patent: Ronson De-Light New Yorker Table Lighter, 1929


The Ronson New Yorker Table Lighter was one of the earliest automatic table models manufactured by Art Metal Works (AMW) in Newark, New Jersey, USA. The design of the lighter was patented by the United States Patent Office in 1929 (patent no. 80,011). This wick lighter was designed by the founder of AMW Louis V. Aronson.

Advert: Silver Match Gas Cigarette Lighters, 1957


This full page color advertisement was published in a French magazine in 1957. It present among others the "Le DIRECTOIRE" gas table lighter made by Silver Match.


Park Sherman Lift Arm Table Lighter Set, 1933


This stylish Art Deco Lift Arm Table Lighter Set was manufactured between 1933 and 1939 by Park Sherman Company in Springfield, Illinois, USA.

This particular set consists of a wick lighter and a cigarette holder/dispenser. It was also available with a matching tray and several brass ashtrays. The most common colors for this set is green with black stripes, red with black stripes and black with red stripes.

The Park Sherman products were sold throughout 1931 to the 1960 when it was sold to a New Jersey firm of Ketcham & McDougall. Park Sherman lighters were marketed as "Park", "Storm King" and "Everdry".

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Marked on the underside:
 (logo, coming soon)
PARK SHERMAN

Scarcity: uncommon–rare

Value for good–mint condition (two piece set): $50.00–120.00 (approx €40.00–90.00)

Weight:  
  • lighter: 88 grams (3 1/8 oz)
  • cigarette dispenser: 218 grams (7 5/8 oz)

Dimensions:

lighter:
  • height: 9.5 cm (3.9")
  • diameter: 4.8 cm (1.9")
cigarette dispenser:
  • height: 16 cm (6.3")
  • diameter: 8 cm (3.15")

Advert: Silver Match Gas Cigarette Lighters, 1957


This full page color advertisement was published in a French magazine in 1957. It present the all new Silver Match gas lighters in different finishes.

Advert: Evans table lighters in silver plate, 1949


This full size magazine advertisement was published in Beautiful House Magazine in June 1949. It promotes five silver-plated Evans table lighters:
  1. The Future
  2. Famous Magic Lamp
  3. The Victorian
  4. The Georgian
  5. The Contempora
 

La Paglia International Silver Evans Table Lighter, 1953


This rare and finely crafted table lighter was manufactured by International Silver Co. and Evans between 1953 and 1955 in Meriden, Connecticut, USA. The base of the lighter is made of sterling silver and is not weighted. It is round with famous for the Danish design and Alphonse La Paglia modern band of scrolls and flowers decoration.

The design of this piece is reminiscent of work by George Jensen, a renowned Danish silversmith; however, this is not surprising as La Paglia studied under Jensen in the 1930's and, after moving to the US in the 1940's, continued as a designer under Frederick Lunning (Georg Jensen U.S.A.). In 1952, La Paglia established a close relationship with International Silver Company, and moved his studio to Meriden, Connecticut, where he worked until his untimely death in 1953. A. La Paglia worked also for Black Starr and Gorham.

The lighter insert was provided by Evans (USA). It is made of brass and is silver electroplated.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Stamped on the bottom:

INTERNATIONAL
STERLING
La Paglia Designed
160 (sometimes: 139 98 /2)

JACKET STERLING
MECHANISM BRASS

The same lighter was also manufactured by Georg Jensen Inc. and marked:

GEORG JENSEN INC.
U.S.A.
STERLING 160
LP

Scarcity: rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $150.00–200.00 (€110–150)

Weight: 140 grams (5 oz)

Dimensions:
  • height: 5.2 cm (2")
  • diameter: 4.7 cm (1.85")

Negbaur Cannon Table Lighter, 1940


This figural wick lighter was manufactured by Negbaur between 1940 and 1949 in Allbright, New York in the United States. It is made of die cast metal in a dark cooper antique (uncommon) or chrome plate finish (rare). The two carriage wheels spin on their axle and the carriage elevates up and down.

It presents a reproduction of a 75mm field canon gun. This quick-firing artillery piece is simply called "Canon de 75 modèle 1897". It was in service in several countries since 1898 and used during both World Wars among others by France, United States, Poland, Belgium, Germany and United Kingdom.

The semi-automatic wick lighter is removable from the canon base. In order to lit the lighter one need to press the button in the back of the cannon barrel. The top opens and the wick burns.



Negbaur was well known for their other solid built figural lighters, like planes, knights, golf bags, chess figures or planes made in the earlier years (1930s and 1940s). The Canon Lighter is very collectible as it is well build and designed. As many of them were manufactured it is not a problem to find one in excellent condition. This flint cigarette lighter was also manufactured for Demley with a small alteration – an added metal base for example.

Marked on the bottom of the base:

Negbaur
Made in U.S.A.

Pat. Pending

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon–rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $75.00–120.00 (approx €50.00–90.00)

Weight: 453 grams (15 7/8 oz)

Dimensions:
  • length: 21 cm (8.3")
  • width: 7.6 cm (3")
  • height: 8 cm (3.1")

Worcester & Evans English Pewter Lighter Set, 1951


The Worcester English Pewter Table Lighter Set was marketed by Worcester Silver Co. and made in 1951 in Sheffield, England. The set consists of a silver plated wick lighter shaped of tankard and matching cigarette holder. 

The lighter insert was provided by Evans (USA). It is made of brass and is silver electroplated. Marked on the bottom: EVANS USA

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Both marked on the bottom:

English Pewter 
Made in Sheffield 
England

Scarcity: rare

Value for very good–mint condition (set): $80.00–120.00 (€60–90)

Weight:

  • lighter – 130 grams (4 1/2 oz)
  • cigarette urn 53 grams (1 7/8 oz)
Dimensions:

1. Lighter
  • height: 7.3 cm (2.9")
  • diameter: 5.2 cm (2")
2. Cigarette holder
  • height: 5 cm (2")
  • diameter: 5.2 cm (2")

Advert, Elgin American Lighters, 1949 & 1950


These two full page vintage magazine ads depict some of the smoking products manufactured and/or sold by Elgin American like: Table Lighter 'Ensemble' Set, few 'Case-O-Matics' Combination Lighters, 'Director' Lighter Set and the 'Clubman' Lighter Set, 'Socialite' Pocket Lighters, 'Litter Case' as well the Ronson 'Adonis' Set. The first advert was published on July 1950 in the Esquire magazine and the other in an unknown magazine in 1949.



Advert, Evans Duchess Table Lighter, 1949


This magazine advertisement published in LIFE Magazine on 24 October 1949 shows the all new and "sensational" Evans Duchess Table Lighter.


KEM Bowling Pin Lighter, 1946


The Bowling Pin Lighter was manufactured in the 1940s in Detroit, Michigan in the United States by Kem Inc. Beside these lighters KEM was famous for manufacturing advertising lighters in shape of bullets, bottles and cans made both of metal and plastic.

This figural lighter was made of ivory/cream colored plastic and advertised as "air tight, leak proof, small and compact". It was sold between 1946 and 1949 for only 39 cents or given away as advertisers by hundreds of companies which decided to include this lighter in their marketing strategy. A similar lighter bowling pin only with two red stripes was also made by Atlas Bowling in Japan.

The lighter is marked on the bottom:

KEM (INC.)
DETROIT, MICH.
PAT. PEND.


The two halves of the plastic bowling pin casing pull apart to show the simple wick and wheel type lighter made of brass. It is not marked.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good–mint condition: $15–25 (approx. €1015)

Weight: 19 grams (0.6 oz)

Dimensions:
  • height: 7.2 cm (2.8")
  • diameter: 2 cm (0.8")

Patent: Ronson De-Light Superba Table Lighter, 1929


The Ronson Superba Table Lighter was one of the earliest automatic table models manufactured by Art Metal Works (AMW) in Newark, New Jersey, USA. The design of the lighter was patented by the United States Patent Office in 1929 (patent no. 80,214). This wick lighter was designed by the founder of AMW Louis V. Aronson.

Evans Duchess Table Lighter, 1949


The production of this fully automatic cigarette lighter started in 1949 and finished in 1954. It was completely manufactured by Evans Case Co. in Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA. The Evans Duchess has a chased design available in gleaming silver electroplate finish. A. F. Reilly – the author of the lighter design – received the patent (no. 153,635) from the United States Patent Office in 1949 (filled in 1948).

This wick lighter has very often minor abrasions on the plated surface even if it is boxed and new (old stock). The lighter is padded with green felt.

Marked on the bottom:

U.S. PAT.
RE.19023

EVANS
Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good–mint condition: $40–60 (approx. €30.00–45.00)

Weight: 130 grams (0.25 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 8.9 cm (3.0")
  • width: 5.6 cm (2.2")
  • depth: 3.5 cm (1.4")

Table Lighter Set Postcard, 1949


Here we have a postcard from the 1949 depicting a wick table lighter set & matching coasters made from China porcelain.  



Excise duties on French lighters, 1910–1945


On 10th December 1910 the French state adopted new tax regulations on "all devices indented to produce spark or fire by friction, or by any other means, and of the combustion of a flammable substance". Since 1st January 1911 every lighter in France that was intended for sale in the French market had to be taxed and adequately marked (see pictures).

To confirm that the excise duty was paid to the Ministry of Finance a special duty metal plate (stamp) was attached (usually welded) to the lighter by the lighter manufacturers. The fees charged by the French state were high but the tax rates levied by the state were varying depending on the type and finish of the lighter. Following tax rates were used:
  • 2 French francs for common pocket lighters,
  • 5 Fr for pocket lighters made of silver,
  • 20 Fr for luxury pocket lighters (e.g. made of gold),
  • 5 Fr for common table/desk lighters (over 10 cm),
  • 10 Fr for table/desk lighters (over 10 cm) made of silver,
  • 50 Fr for luxury table/desk lighters (over 10 cm) made of gold or platinum.


Between 1911 and 1916 a simple cooper plate was used which had the date 1911 engraved. Later, between 1916 and 1945 a new plate (undated) was introduced with the letters "C" and "I" (stands for indirect taxes) and a profile of Mercury (patron god of financial gain, commerce and messengers) with an inscription "Ministère des Finances" (eng. Ministry of Finance). Two shapes were used for the plate – oval for table lighters, the other one for pocket lighters. Additional to the two duty plates a marking "BL" (Briquet de Luxe, eng. luxury lighter) was introduced in 1926. It was a small hallmark which was considered as more discreet and applied only on luxury lighters like Quercia or Lancel.  

It is worth to mention that France was not the sole country where lighters were taxed and marked with special plates. A similar law was constituted in Belgium and Spain although it was applied for a short time. The taxation of lighters in France was abolished in 1945.

Evans 'Hitching Post' Table Lighter, 1956


This fine bone China Porcelain Evans 'Hitching Post' table lighter was designed and manufactured by Evans in the U.S.A. between 1956 and 1961. During the years of manufacture two different versions were produced with small changes to the bottom of the lighter base.

The lighter was marketed as a gift set for a gentleman. The 3-piece set consisted of a lighter and matching urn and ashtray (no. EC310W1029 or EC-123). The lighter was also available separately (EC311W735 or EC-124) in white or black China.

The Evans gold-tone brass insert uses a wick lighter with a red seal which is a patented fuel control.

The base of the lighter in shape of a horse which is often seen  on decorative hitching posts (it is a post to which a horse may be tethered to prevent it from straying). The China base is marked  with the Evans logo.

The entire body of this lighter is a very big fuel reservoir.

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for very good–mint condition: $60.00–90.00 (approx. €40.00–60.00); set: $90.00–120.00

Weight:
  • 340 grams (12 oz)
Dimensions:
  • height: 18 cm (7")
  • diameter: 7.6 cm (3")

FAQ: Where to sell my lighter?


One of the most frequent subjects that arise in e-mails from my readers concerns selling and purchasing lighters. Let us start with pointing out the best places for lighter sellers. As with everything we want to sell we have to find the appropriate audience and attention. Here is the ranking of the best places you should start with:
  1. On-line auction platforms.
    1. International: ebay.com, delcampe.net (great for lighter pins and lighter magazine advertisements)
    2. Local/regional: ebay.au, ebay.co.uk, ebay.fr, ebay.de, allegro.pl, etc.
  2. Shopping websites eligible for private sales, e.g. etsy.com, rubylane.com, priceminister.com, amazon.
  3. On-line classified advertisements boards, e.g. gumtree.com, preloved.co.uk, olx.hu
  4. Lighter forums and clubs, e.g. forum.table-lighters.com, LCGB, OTLS
  5. Antique shops and local auction houses.
  6. Blogs and websites on lighters. Mainly rare pieces in very good condition have a chance to be accepted. 
Next month I will give you some detailed hints on how to sell lighters on eBay and similar platforms. To be up to date please subscribe to my my RSS feed!

PS. Listed below are the biggest auction services in the world (as for 2014-06-08).


FAQ: Dunhill Foxhole & Windproof Lighter Instruction, 1942


This instruction comes from a foxhole lighter manufactured by Dunhill in the 1940s in New York, United States. The lighter was available in two versions: sterling silver and silver plated.

Vintage Zippo Mfg. Co. Postcard, ca. 1955


Below a rare linen postcard from the mid 1950s. It is depicting the headquarters of Zippo Mfg. Co. The "linen postcards" were produced from the late 1930s through the early 1950s mainly in the USA. They were produced on paper with a high rag content which gave the postcard a fabric type look and feel.


Evans Vestal Lamp Table Lighter, 1950


The production of this fully automatic table lighter started in 1950 and finished in 1954 in the United States. The "Vestal Lamp" made by Evans has a chased design and was available in silver plate and silver sterling  (model no. 84J77).

This wick lighter has very often minor abrasions on the plated surface even if it is boxed and new (old stock). The lighter is padded with green felt.

Marked on the bottom (on screws):
U.S. PAT.
RE.19023

EVANS
PAT. PEND.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter


Scarcity: uncommon–rare

Value for good–mint condition: $30–50 (silver plate), $150–200 (sterling silver)

Weight: 120 grams (4 1/4 oz.)

Dimensions:
  •     height: 7.7 cm (3.0")
  •     length: 9.5 cm (3.7")
  •     width: 3.9 cm (1.6")