Ronson American Classic Table Lighter, modern example


The Ronson 'American Classic' Table Lighter is a modern example of the table lighters manufactured these days. It was manufactured between the year 2001 and 2003 in China and distributed mainly by Ronson in Italy and the USA. This table lighter has a bronze antique finish with a floral pattern. The base is padded with black velvet.

The removable lighter insert the Ronson Whale is the successor of the  Ronson Varaflame Windmaster which was also equipped with a wind housing. This butane lighter insert has a typical flint ignition and the flame can be controlled. Only the lighter insert is marked: RONSON Whale

Type: butane (gas) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for mint condition: $45.00 (approx €30.00)

Weight: 395 grams (0,87 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 8.6 cm (3.4")
  • width: 7.1 cm (2.8")
  • depth: 5.5 cm (2.2")

Hamilton Ship Wheel Table Lighter, 1940


This Ship's Wheel Table Lighter made by Hamilton was first manufactured in 1940 in the United States. This nautical figural lighter is heavy chrome plated (no. 3QR7561B) - likely the other most famous Hamilton products: the Airplane and the Knight Table Lighter. The top as well the bottom are painted in black. It was though also available in brass finish (no. 3QR7562C) which is rare.

The wick lighter lights by turning the wheel. The lighter is marked on the underside of the base:

MADE IN U.S.A.
PAT PEND.

or 
 

MADE IN U.S.A.
A PRODUCT OF HAMILTON
PAT PEND.

A magazine advertisement from the 1940 says: Marine Style-Turn the Wheel-Lights Up. Here's just the right nautical touch for desk, smoking stand or den-a ship's wheel lighter that never misses. Just turn the wheel and it lights up with a steady lighthouse flame. Designed with all the smooth trimness of true marine engineering and finished in brilliant chromium or brass that will not tarnish or stain. Holds oceans of fluid so that it will go week after week without being refilled, lighting up faithfully at the flick of a finger. Lighter stands 5 inches in height.

A similar lighter design was used by Dunhill and it is rare. It fetches prices above $250.-.

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: uncommonrare

Value for good–mint condition: $75.00–100.00 (approx €50.00–65.00)

Weight: 330 grams (0,73 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 12.9 cm (3.0")
  • diameter: 7.3 cm (2.5")

A.S.R. Classic Table Lighter, 1949


The 'Classic' (model no. 1250 T) was manufactured in 1949 by the American Safety Razor Co. in the United States (Brooklyn, New York).  This model was available only in gleaming rhodium finish.

The look of the table lighter refers to the Arts and Crafts Movement. The A·S·R 'Classic' was marketed in a silver presentation box. The base of the lighter is padded with green felt. It is marked on the base:


A·S·R
(R)
LIGHTER

The lighter insert has an automatic 'Light-Switch Action' and stays lit without holding. It is marked:

A·S·R CORP.
315 JAY ST.
BROOKLYN, N.Y.
PATENT D-146973

PAT. APP. FOR
MADE IN U.S.A.

One of the advertisement published in the "Life" magazine in 1949 says about this product: "A·S·R 'Classic' Table Lighter in luxurious Rhodium finish. Won't tarnish, can be machine engraved. Great fuel capacity and all other distinctive A·S·R features."

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for very good–mint condition: $40.00–60.00 (approx €30.00–45.00)

Weight: 290 grams (0,64 pounds)

Dimensions:

  • length: 7.9 cm (3.11")
  • width: 4.4 cm (1.73")
  • height: 6.6 cm (2.6")

Ronson Leona Table Lighter, 1949


The Ronson Leona was first manufactured in 1949 in Newark, New Jersey, USA. The production ceased in ca. 1955. According to U. Cummings the lighter was named after Leona Aronson who was the wife of Alexander H. Aronson the son of  Louis V. Ronson - the founder of the Ronson Corporation.

A quite successful model marketed in many various finishes. The body of the lighter was available in Venetian bronze plate or silver plate. The enameled center section was even more diverse:
  • green enamel (common),
  • ivory enamel with red flowers pattern (common),
  • black enamel with purple flower pattern (rare),
  • black enamel - plane (uncommon)
  • corn flower blue enamel (uncommon),
  • rose (pink) enamel (uncommon).
The lower section of this table lighter is finished with a delicate ivy, berries and swirl pattern. The Ronson Leon has a Standard Ronson lighter fitment. The bottom of the base is padded with green felt. It is marked:


RONSON (R)
NEWARK, N.J. U.S.A.
U.S. PATENT PE.NO. 19,023
CANADA PATS. -288,148-289,889 
(R)
RONSON
"LEONA"

or

RONSON (R)
MADE IN ENGLAND
BRIT PAT 621570
RONSON
"LEONA"

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommonrare

Value for very good–mint condition: $35.00–100.00 (approx €25.00–70.00)

Weight: 227 grams (0.5 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 7.3 cm (2.88")
  • width: 5.4 cm (2.13")
  • depth: 3.8 cm (1.5")

Dunhill Aladdin's Lamp, 1952


The Dunhill Aladdin's Lamp (also known as the Roman Lamp) lighter was manufactured between 1952 and 1960 in England. It is also known as the Roman Lamp. This solid vintage petrol table lighter was manufactured in three different finishes – polished chrome, silver plate and antique copper finish. The picture below presents the Aladdin's Lamp in antique brass finish.


The lighter has a very precise trigger activated mechanism - the top opens and sparks when the trigger is pulled. Very efficient mechanism – works at every single try. The base is padded with green felt.

This table lighter was advertised by Dunhill as: An ingenious adaptation of the Ancient "Lucerna" - The Roman Lamp of Imperial Times - to the modern purpose of a Dunhill Lighter.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Writing on the underside:
dunhill
PROV. PAT. NO. 32981/49.
REG. DES. APPL. NO. 861972
MADE IN ENGLAND

Scarcity: very rare

Value for very good–mint condition (dependent on finish) : $200.00–450.00 (approx €135.00–300.00)

Weight: 432 grams (0,67 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 12.8 cm (5.04")
  • length: 17.0 cm (6.7")
  • depth: 7.0 cm (2.8")

Ronson Varaflame Luralite, 1967


The Varaflame Luralite is one of the 25 different table lighter models of Ronson produced in the second half of the 1960s. This particular butane lighter model was manufactured in Woodbridge in New Jersey (U.S.A.) between 1967 and 1971. The Varaflame Luralite was available in three finishes: gold, anthracite and silver tone (see picture). The surface of the base of the lighter has a patched pattern.

The removable lighter insert the Varaflame is in case of the silver tone finish chrome-plated  with some gold color elements; the other two are fully gold color plated. The fingertip flame control is decorated with a light blue Swarovski crystal. The base is padded with cork. A silver label should also be on the underside of the base with  few text lines, among others:


"VARAFLAME (R) Luralite"
fashioned by RONSON (R)
WOODBRIDGE, N.J. U.S.A.
...

Type: butane (gas) lighter

Scarcity: common

Value for very good–mint condition: $25.00–35.00 (approx €20.00–30.00)

Weight: 290 grams (0,64 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 7.6 cm (3.0")
  • diameter: 6.35 cm (2.5")

Dunhill Sylph Ruler, 1954


The Dunhill Sylph Ruler was manufactured between 1954 and 1961 in England. In 1955 the name of the lighter was changed to 'Sylph Rulerlite'. This lighter is in the shape of a ruler which is marked both with centimeters and inches. It was produced in two finishes: silver plate and solid silver (sterling). In addition a version with a paper cutter at the end was also marketed in the late 1950s.


Marked on the bottom of the base:

SYLPH
dunhill

In the Dunhill catalog from the 1959/1960 the rulerlite was advertised as: A useful, dual-purpose gift, suitable for desk or pocket. Calibrated in inches centimetres.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: rare

Value for good–mint condition (depends on finish): $200.00–550.00 (approx €140.00–370.00)

Weight: 190 grams (0,35 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 1.0 cm (0.4")
  • width: 2.0 cm (0.8")
  • length: 16.0 cm (6.3")

Zippo Handilite, 1979


The Zippo Handylite was introduced in 1979. It was manufactured in various finishes till 1999 in Bradford, United States. This table lighter is a simple combination of a traditional Zippo pocket lighter and an attachable pedestal base.

It was available among others in (see picture below):
  • Brush Chrome, no. 200H,
  • High Polish Gold Electroplate, no. 250GH,
  • Regular Black Matte with Horse, no. 218H-HG,
  • High Polish Gold Electroplate with Bighorn Sheep (Ram), no. 250GH-RM,
  • High Polish Gold Electroplate with Snoozin' Camel.


The lighter can be removed from the pedestal (which could be purchased separately) and used as a normal Zippo pocket lighter. Most regular size Zippo lighters are adaptable to Handilite. The lighter base is padded with black felt and it is marked:  

ZIPPO (R) 
Bradford, PA USA

See also the Zippo Handilite magazine advertisement.

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good-mint condition: $34.00–125.00 (approx €60.00–65.00)

Weight: 200 grams (0.44 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 9.1 cm (3.6")
  • diameter: 3.8 cm (1.5")

Ronson Waldorf, 1936


The Ronson Waldorf was first manufactured in 1936 in Newark, N.J., USA. There are two versions of this table lighter. The first was produced between 1936–1937 and the second, which is less scarce, between 1950–1952 (see picture). Both versions used the Ronson Adonis fitment.

This wick lighter is quite heavy – it is made of "white metal" which is silver-plated. The base is padded with green felt. The lighter base has an oval shape and its leitmotiv is a band of leaves.

The second version of the Waldorf was sold alone and in a set consisting of a matching tray and cigarette holder.

Marked on the bottom of the base:

RONSON (R)
NEWARK, N.J. U.S.A.
U.S. PATENT RE. NO. 19023
CANADA PATS.-288.148-289.889
RONSON
"WALDORF"
TRADE MARK

Type: petrol (wick) lighter
Scarcity: rare

Value for good–mint condition: $55.00–100.00 (approx €40.00–70.00)

Weight: 330 grams (0,73 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 6.5 cm (2.6")
  • width: 4.8 cm (1.9")
  • length: 7.8 cm (3.1")

Zippo Lady Barbara, Classic Antique 1997


The Zippo Lady Barbara was first released as a 65th Anniversary model lighter in 1997 - it had an etched 65th Anniversary logo on the front (see picture). Lady Barbara was manufactured in three different finishes till 2003 in Bradford, United States. The Lady Barbara Classic Antique has a silver plate antique finish and was manufactured between 1998-2003 and it replicated the classic 1949-51 Zippo Lady Bradford design. Beside the Anniversary model and the Classic Antique model there is a Camel model with a etched Camel logo on the front.

This modern antiqued silver plate lighter can be removed from the Lady Barbara pewter base and used as a normal Zippo pocket lighter. The base is padded with black felt and it is marked: ZIPPO (R) Bradford, PA USA.

This Zippo might be a classic though it looks awkward and feels quite cheap.

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Scarcity: common

Value for mint condition: $90.00–100.00 (approx €60.00–65.00)

Weight: 276 grams (0.61 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 8.2 cm (3.23")
  • width: 5.2 cm (2.05")
  • depth: 2.7 cm (1.06")
Below the product page of the 65th Anniversary Zippo Table Lighter from the German Zippo Collection Catalog 1997/1998 Classics/Selects.



Speculation and long-term investment in vintage cigarette lighters


Lighters collectors are usually both buyers and sellers. Some of them collect lighters because of self-actualization, some of them think about their grandchildren and others perceive it as an investment or just as a alternative for paper money. Investing as well as speculation requires knowledge, luck and taste. It refers also to vintage cigarette lighters. You probably won't be a millionaire though you can benefit on your unique knowledge on lighters. How? What kind of profit do we talk about?

Let's consider you have bought a Dunhill ‘Aquarium’ lighter on a garage sale for $20 in excellent condition five years ago. The previous owners did not know that this table lighter was something special - they even did not know where to find any information about it. It would help to know that this lighter was manufactured in relatively small amounts in England in the 1950's and that it was hand-painted by Ben Shillingford.


So you have made a fantastic deal from todays perspective. Such bargains happen also today though the future will change it. The main reason for it is the wide-spreading Internet and easy accessible sources on vintage lighters. Additionally there number of people who find collecting lighters amusing rises. The limited supply and rising demand causes that the prices of particular examples of lighters will go up.

Going back to our story, three years ago you decided to sell it on ebay as the prices for it was astonishing high - average price for it (excellent condition) was at $1700-1900. You sold it though you still have monitored the market for the Aquarium Dunhills just for curiosity. You are not happy anymore, because since than the dissonance of your decision rose. Why? Because the price you could get was also rising and now you would get for it more than $3300. There are more examples of lighters that experienced such astonishing value appreciation.

The highest increase of value can be registered particularly in some luxury niche brands like Dunhill or DuPont. The time will probably also come to some lighters from more popular brands like Evans, like the Phinney Walker Evans lighter alarm clock. To a higher demand for particular lighters do contribute museums, galleries, antique guides, cigarette lighter books, movies etc. The more a lighter is showed, described, admired the higher value might can expect...


How much is my vintage cigarette lighter worth?


General speaking, the value of a lighter can be identified with the price someone is ready to pay for it. This thesis would be correct if only the market would be perfect (perfect information and perfect competition). Of course it is not. That is why collectors search for a better way of valuating their trophies. The simplest way is to look for the most up-to-date reference sources, like ended auctions or on-line guides.

Estimating the value of vintage lighters is a very complex process. One need to take into account several factors. The collectors value depends on:

1. Condition

The condition is one of the most fundamental issue for a collector. The most sought after are lighters in mint, pristine condition. The poorer the condition the less valuable is a lighter. It is often the case that the difference in pricing between a lighter in good condition and mint condition is 45-75%. It is worth to now that a mint cigarette lighter should include packaging, instructions, tags etc. To such lighters one refers to as "old new stock" (abbreviated ONS) or "mint in box" (abbreviated MIB).

2. Age

In general, the older the lighter is the better. The main reason for it is scarcity and condition. It is much easier to find a Ronson Crown manufactured in 1952 than a Ronson Crown in the 1936 in excellent or mint condition. Furthermore the closer we are of the modern times the closer the mass production economy model.

3. Brand, model, country, style of origin etc.

People collect everything. I am quite sure it would be impossible to find anything that comes to your mind that people do not collect. The only issue is many of them collects what. Regarding vintage cigarette lighters, collectors often specialize in collecting lighters that can be ascribed to a distinct category, like: German lighters, pocket lighters, figural lighters, lighters made by Evans, lighters made of silver, Art Deco lighters, wick table lighters, etc. The price of a lighter will than depend on the amount of collectors of its kind and fashions. Of course not only lighter collectors look for vintage lighters. You should take into consideration for instance people who are decorating their homes in one particular style, like Art Nouveau - they also will look for lighters in Art Nouveau style.

4. Scarcity

The most important factor for scarcity is the amount of lighters that were manufactured. One can also include the problem of wars in which a lot of goods is being destroyed, etc.

5. Quality and materials used for production

It is quite obvious that a lighter made of gold is more valuable than the one made of silver. The same counts to fine craftsmanship.

OK, are that all factors? Of course not, but these are the most important factors that must be considered in you estimation.

The nominal value of a lighter

Due to inflation the real value of money decreases. It refers to all currencies whether it is a dollar, euro or pound. In opposite to paper money gold does not lose its value due inflation. That is why it is the best mean in the analysis to compare prices and the purchase power of money long term. The nominal value often differs from the real market (collectors) value.

Zippo case study: The market value for a Lady Bradford Zippo table lighter in 1950 (see advertisement from Life magazine from 06.05.1950) was $10. Actualizing the $10 price tag the nominal value today should be much higher. One once of gold in 1950 cost $40,25 and in 2008 it was near $872. It means in 1950 you could buy for one once of gold only 4 Lady Bradford Zippos! In terms of nominal value the very same Lady Bradford would cost today $218. But it does not - you can have it in mint condition at ebay for approx. $150. Can someone explain why? What happened here? What has changed in these years?

PS. The Zippo Lady Bradford was manufactured between 1949-1951. In addition Zippo started in 1997 (production ceased in 2002) a reissue of the classic Lady Bradford calling it Lady Barbara. It is still available for approx. $100.
PS2. The yearly gold prices since 1793 can be found here.

Hy Glo & Frank M. Whiting, Crown, ca. 1932


The Hy Glo & Frank M. Whiting lighter was made in the early 1930s. Hy Glo Products Co. Owosso, Michigan U.S.A. provided only the small sterling wick lighter insert marked: Hy Glo MADE IN U.S.A. Hy Glo went out of the lighter business in 1949 due to a fire that destroyed the whole factory complex.

The lighter was sold alone - without a matching ashtray or cigarette urn like the older brother. The lighter is made of glass and silver sterling (925). The lighter has a relatively heavy removable cap (top cover) made from an alloy and silver-plated

Worth to know is that the Frank M. Whiting was founded in 1878 in North Attleboro, Massachusetts by the son of William Whiting, the founder of the Whiting Manufacturing. In 1895, the company was converted to a stock company under the name F. M. WHITING & Co. In 1896, the firm's name was changed to FRANK. M. WHITING & Co. In 1897 the company was incorporated and later in the 1924 was purchased by the Elmore Silver Company of Meriden, CT. Their line included sterling silver flatware, hollowware, novelties, souvenir spoons, etc. The brand was on the market till 1940.

Marked on the silver:

FRANK M. WHITING & CO.
STERLING

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good–mint condition: $40.00–70.00 (approx €30.00–50.00)

Weight: 162 grams (0.36)

Dimensions:
  • height: 6.2 cm (2.4")
  • diameter: 5.8 cm (2.3")

T. Kullander & Evans Table Lighter, 1954


This extremely rare table lighter was manufactured by KULLANDER SILVERSMEDEN TORE in 1954 in BORĹS, Sweden. The company prospered from 1938 to 1976. It manufactured sterling and silver-plated flatware and hollowware mainly for the Swedish market.The base of the lighter is made of silver – probably 830 grade of silver. It is weighted and marked. The lighter has a round base and feels very robust.

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

Type:
petrol (wick) lighter

Marked on the bottom:

Scarcity: extremely rare


Value for very good–mint condition: $250.00–400.00 (€175–280)

Weight:
260 grams (0,57 pounds)

Dimensions:

  • height: 9.3 cm (3.66")
  • diameter: 6.3 cm (2.5")

Tiffany & Co Witchball, 1956


The Witchball table lighter was made by Tiffany & Co. between 1956 and 1958 in London, England. This figural wick lighter presents a witch ball which have been very popular since the 18th century in England. Witch balls appeared later in the 19th century in other European countries as well as in America. The function of witch balls was to ward off evil spirits, witch's spells or ill fortune.

Witch balls integrated with lighters were quite popular in the 1950s. Very alike to the Tiffany's lighter is the Witchball manufactured by Richard Comyns (silverware, active since 1920 in London) in cooperation with the British lighter manufacturer - Rolstar.

The unweighted round base of the Witchball lighter is made of sterling - 925 grade of silver. It is also marked on the bottom:

T&Co
(silver hallmarks)
Witchball
Tiffany & Co
ENGLAND
STERLING

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $100.00–150.00 (approx €70.00–100.00)

Weight: approx. 250 grams (0.56 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 7.6 cm (3.00")
  • diameter: 6.9 cm (2.75")
This post was published owing to Charlotte. Thank you!

Ronson Jubilee Set, 1954


The Ronson Jubilee Set was manufactured only in 1954 in the industrial works in Newark (N.J., United States). The set consists of a lighter and a matching cigarette holder. Both are made of sterling silver and have weighted bases.

The lighter has a removable Ronson Essex fitment. It is silver-plated.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Both, the lighter and the cigarette urn are marked on the bottom:

STERLING
(R)
RONSON
JUBILEE
WEIGHTED

The lighter is additionaly marked with:

NEWARK, N.J. U.S.A.
U.S. PAT.
PEND.

Scarcity: rare

Value for very good–mint condition (set): $160.00–250.00 (€110–175)

Weight:

  • lighter – 245 grams (0,54 pounds)
  • cigarette holder 58 grams (0,13 pounds)
Dimensions:

1. Lighter
  • height: 9.7 cm (3.8")
  • diameter: 5.9 cm (2.3")
2. Cigarette holder
  • height: 7.3 cm (2.9")
  • diameter: 5.9 cm (2.3")

KW 650 G, ca. 1935


The KW type 650 G was first manufactured by Karl Wieden (KW) in 1935 in Germany. The production of this type ceased in 1953. It was a very successful and robust semi-automatic table lighter produced in various finishes.

The pictures on the right presents an example of the KW 650 G. Its body is covered with a thin layer of black paint in which a picture of a horse is scratched out.

The KW 650 G was available also in other finishes: silver, silver plate and gold plate.

The removable lighter insert is a standard nickel plate KW in normal size. There were also available smaller units in the size 3/4 and 1/2 of the normal KW (see dimensions).

Type: wick (petrol) lighter

Marked on the underside of the lighter base:

Scarcity: uncommonrare

Value for good mint condition (dependent on finish): $100.00–400.00 (approx €55.00–220.00)

Weight: 260 grams (0.57 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 7.2 cm (2.83")
  • width: 8.4 cm (3.3")
  • length: 2.8 cm (1.1")

KW Capri H, 1958


This Capri table lighter was first manufactured by Karl Wieden (KW) in 1958 in Germany. The production ceased in the early 1960s. It was one of the first gas (butane) lighters made by KW. It had a very simplistic angular design.

This automatic table lighter was available in different finishes: silver, nickel plated etc. The picture on the right shows a KW Capri in a rectangle openwork base in floral design. On both sides a monogram shield was present (see picture). The base of the lighter was made of 800 grade of silver. The base is not weighted. Marked on the side: 800 H.

The removable lighter insert is a standard nickel plate KW Capri.

Type: gas (butane) lighter

Marked on the underside of the lighter insert: KW KAWEE
Scarcity: rare

Value for good mint condition (dependent on finish): $75.00–300.00 (approx €55.00–220.00)

Weight: 280 grams (0,31 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 6.0 cm (2.36")
  • width: 3.3 cm (1.3")
  • length: 7.7 cm (3.03")

BeBe 100, 1947


This beautiful and massive semi-automatic table lighter with 'on' and 'off' buttons (look pictures below) was manufactured by Bruchhaus & Baltrusch (BeBe) between 1947 and 1951 in Germany. It is made of brass and is nickel plated.

The bas-relief is made of silver and marked on the side with German hallmarks and the silver purity mark 800. The sleeve is depicting a scene of a wedding party. This table lighter remains some of the Mylflam models with silver sleeves depicting among others tavern or fest scenes.

The BeBe 100 was also seen in other finishes: fully nickeled and enameled.


Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Marked on the lighter insert (base):

BeBe 100
GERMANY
D.R.PATENT

Scarcity: rare

Value for good–mint condition: $90.00–180.00 (approx €65.00–130.00)

Weight: 360 grams (0,79 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 8.0 cm (3.1")
  • length: 10.6 cm (4,2")
  • width: 4.0 cm (1,6")

Ronson Varaflame Victoria, 1964


The Ronson Varaflame Victoria was manufactured in W. Germany in 1964. It is the only Ronson table lighter made of solid silver (800) next to the Jubilee Set (925, sterling).

The removable lighter insert the Varaflame is partly chromium-plated and silver-plated. It has a fingertip flame control finished with a blue Swarovski crystal. Marked on the underside: Ronson (R) MADE IN W. GERMANY PATENTED.

The base of the lighter is weighted and marked on the underside of the base on green felt:

Ronson (R)
SOLID SILVER
VICTORIA

Type: butane (gas) lighter
Scarcity: rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $120.00–150.00 (approx €90.00–110.00)

Weight: 210 grams (0,46 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 9.6 cm (3.78")
  • diameter: 7.2 cm (2.8")

ALBO & Augusta Zünder, Mini, 1956


This table lighter was made by Albert Bodemer Silberwarenfabrik GmbH (known as ALBO or AB) in cooperation with Augusta Zünder between 1956 and 1962 in Germany.

The Albert Bodemer Silberwarenfabrik GmbH was a typical hollowware manufacturer established in the 1940's in Keltern-Ellmendingen, Germany. It is still active today and run by the daughter of Albert Bodemer who invented all the patterns and forms. The lighter inserts were provided by several German lighter manufacturers, like KW or Augusta Zünder - today only the BIC company is their supplier (butane lighters).

The rounded openwork base stands on three decorative legs. The silver basket has a floral design accompanied by two angels and a field for a monogram in the middle. The base of the lighter was made of silver in different purities: 800, 835 and 925 grade of silver. The base is not weighted. Marked on the side: ALBO.

The lighter insert was provided by Augusta Zünder, a known German supplier. It is made of brass and is silver-plated. The picture above presents a petrol (wick) lighter. A butane gas lighter in the same shape was introduced in the early 1960s.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good–mint condition: $50.00–90.00 (approx €35.00–65.00)

Weight: 70 grams (0,15 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 5.7 cm (2.24")
  • diameter: 4.5 cm (1.77")

Ronson Rondelight Junior table lighter, 1929


The Ronson Jr. table lighter was first manufactured in 1929. Till 1935/1936 the Rondelight was produced with the Old Standard fitment only in Newark (USA). In 1936 the New Standard fitment was introduced (see picture) and the production went on till 1939 both in USA and United Kingdom.


This table lighter is in the shape of a billiard ball and it was made in various finishes: plain chromium plate, covered with brown leather or chrome and enamel in six color combinations (lower part/stripe): black/red, black/black, black/blue, black/green, lavender/white and white/green.

The lighter insert is removable and it is marked on the bottom:

RONSON
TRADE MARK
MADE IN ENGLAND
RONDELIGHT
BRIT. PAT. 621570

or

RONSON
US. PAT. RE. No. 19,023 CANADA PATS.
2,88,148-289,889 BRIT. PAT. 291,695
ART METAL WORKS, INC.
NEWARK, N.J. U.S.A.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: rare–very rare

Value for good–mint condition: $80.00–400.00 (approx €55.00–300.00), according to version and finish

Weight: 230 grams ( 2,58 PLN)

Dimensions:
  • height: 7 cm (2.76")
  • diameter: 5.5 cm (2.17")

Rowenta Bridge, 1954


The Rowenta Bridge (catalog model: F4515 17/2, see picture) was manufactured in 1954 in Offenbach am Main, Germany. The production ceased short after that in 1957. The Rowenta Bridge was a very successful model manufactured in more than 30 different finishes, like: sterling silver, chromium plate, morocco leather and even nacre finish (mother of pearl).

This wick lighter was generally made of brass and it had two various shapes of the base: oval or of a irregular octagon. Marked on the underside of the base:

Rowenta Bridge
Germany
Pat.pend.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommonvery rare (depending on type of the finish)

Value for good–mint condition: $50.00–250.00 (approx €35.00–230.00)

Weight: 140 grams (0,31 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 5.8 cm (2.28")
  • width: 2.8 cm (1.1")
  • length: 6.5 cm (2.56")

Ronson Lotus Table Lighter, 1953


The Ronson Lotus was manufactured in 19531957 in Newark, New Jersey, USA and also in London, England. It is a solid oval-shaped petrol (wick) lighter and it is a perfect example of the Art Deco style. It was available in three finishes:
  • gold plate (24K) with black enamel,
  • chrome plate with black enamel (see picture on the right),
  • silver plate combined with satin silver plate (see picture on the bottom).
This table lighter was based on the Adonis fitment. The base is padded with green or black felt. Only the silver plate finish is protected by a transparent lacquer.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Marked on the bottom:
BRIT. PAT. 621570
OTHER PATS. PEND
RONSON

REG. TRADE MARK
LOTUS
MADE IN ENGLAND

or

RONSON
NEWARK N.J. U.S.A.
U.S. PATENT 2,481,195
LOTUS

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good–mint condition: $60.00–100.00 (approx €40.00–70.00)

Weight: 310 grams (0,68 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 5.6 cm (2.2")
  • length: 8.0 cm (3.15")
  • width: 4.6 cm (1.8")

Kaschie, K 35, ca. 1936


The model K 35 was manufactured by Karl Schieder Metalwarenfabrik (Kaschie) between 1936 and 1940 in Nürnberg, Germany. It is made of brass and is nickel plated. There are many different finishes of this model – mostly in enamel and machine engraved (see picture).

To make the lighter work one must push down the ball switch on the right – then the top opens and the lighter lights.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Marked on the side:

KASCHIE 35
PATENT
GERMANY

Scarcity: rare

Value for good–mint condition: $120.00–220.00 (approx €85.00–155.00)

Weight: 255 grams (0,56 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 7.1 cm (2.8")
  • length: 8.0 cm (3,15")
  • width: 2.3 cm (0,9")

Lighters manufacturers by country


This list should help to organize the major lighters manufacturers (makers) all over the world and assign the years when the companies were active.


Austria
  • Champ (1950s–1970s)
  • Condor (1930s)
  • Cyklon (1910s–1920s)
  • Arthur Dubsky Metallwarenfabrik, INGAD (1905–1945) 
  • Fackel (1920s)
  • Flatty (1930s)
  • Golf (1930s)
  • IMCO (Ifa = IMCO Feuerzeuge Austria) (1918–present)
  • Kaba (1939–1945)
  • KARAT Werk Wien, Metall- u. Plastikwarenfabrik GmbH (1945–1979)
  • MEB (1930s)
  • Orlik (1924–1940)
  • Pino King (1930s)
  • Richard Kohn, RK (1909–1920s)
  • TCW, Karl Auer Baron von Welsbach (1920s–1940s)
  • Tresor (1910s–1930s)


Czechoslovakia (later Czech Republic and Slovakia) 
  • AN (1933–1948)
  • Erho (1930s–1940s)
  • Fork (1930s)
  • K-B, Kablo (1933–1942)

United States of America (U.S.A.)

  • American Safety Razor, ASR (1940s–1950s)
  • Baier (1930s)
  • Bagley (1940s)
  • Berkley (1950s)
  • Beattie Products (1944–1960s)
  • Bowers (1928–present)
  • Brighton (1930s)
  • Brown & Bigelow (1950s–1960s)
  • Capitol (1910s)
  • Clark (1920s–1940s)
  • Comet (1930s)
  • Douglas (1920s)
  • Elgin-Otis (1920s–1950s)
  • Evans (1918–1980)
  • Golden Wheel (1920s–1940)
  • Gotham (1930s)
  • Guth Stern & Co Inc, Allbright (1927–1948)
  • Hamilton (1940s–1950s)
  • Hy Glo Products Co. (1930s–1949)
  • Harvey Avedon (1950s)
  • Marathon (1915–1940s)
  • Mappin & Webb (1920s)
  • MEB (1920s)
  • Metco (1930s)
  • Nasco (1920s)
  • Nassau (1900s-1910s)
  • Negbaur (1930–1950s)
  • Nimrod (1950–1960s)
  • Parker (1950–1956)
  • Park Sherman (1930s–1970s)
  • Ritepoint (1940s–1950s)
  • Ronson, Art Metal Works (1909–present)
  • Scripto (1954–1977)
  • Triangle (1928–1942)
  • United (1940s–1960s)
  • Zippo (1932–present)

France
  • Abdulla (1924–1960s)
  • Abel Charles (1950s)
  • A.G., Gorin (1890s)
  • A.G. Colombo (1960s)
  • Ajax (1940s)
  • Alpha (1950s)
  • Aluvac (1940s)
  • AMY (1950s)
  • Aquilon, Aquilux (1940s–1950s)
  • Autolux (1951–1956)
  • Ardens (1920s)
  • ARCI (1960s)
  • Ardens (1920s)
  • ARKA (1940s)
  • Arras (1940s–1950s)
  • Arthus Bertrand (1950s)
  • ATOM (1940s)
  • ATOMIC (1960s)
  • AT (1940s–1950s) 
  • Azur Monaco (1920s–1930s)
  • BABY, Brevet Rene Marie Bourdon (1920s)
  • Ballot (1920s)
  • BBR (1920s)
  • BEN-HUR (1930s)
  • Berry (1960s)
  • Besancon (1949–1961)
  • BIC (1973–present)
  • Bijou (1920s)
  • Billambois (1950s)
  • BISSON, Ferdinand Bisson (1921–1929)
  • BL (1920s)
  • Boite Amadou (1940s)
  • Bonovent (1930s)
  • Boucheron (1910s–1940s)
  • Bric'Lux MD (1940s)
  • Brissaud MD (1950s)
  • Brisevent (1920s–1932)
  • B.L. (1930s–1940s)
  • CALOR (1950s)
  • Camelia (1930s)
  • Canichou (1960s)
  • Cartier (1847–present)
  • Capri (1930s–present)
  • Capitan (1950s)
  • CC (1910s)
  • CCC (1930s)
  • C.D. Paris (1930s–1940s)
  • CEB (1910s)
  • Celtic (1930s–1940s)
  • Chanteloup (1920–1952)
  • Chasseur (1930s–1940s)
  • Chic (1920s)
  • Chipie (1970s)
  • Christian Dior (1950s–present)
  • Ciex (1930s)
  • Claverie J. MD (1940s–?)
  • Clodion Jerrican (1940s)
  • Conte (early 1930s–1940s)
  • CoP Paris (1934–1936)
  • Cricket (1962–present)
  • Cyclone (1910s–1920s)
  • DAM (1950s)
  • Dandy (1933–1950s)
  • Dauphin (1960s)
  • Decat (1950s)
  • Deniel's (1919–1960s)
  • Djeep (1970s)
  • Doncor (1960s)
  • Drago (1930–1976)
  • Ducat (1940s)
  • Durant (1960s)
  • E B (1945–1950s)
  • ECA (1950s)
  • Ecla (1930s)
  • Eclair (1910–1940s)
  • Elegant (1940s)
  • Elge (1920s)
  • Elit (1940s–1950s)
  • Elve (1930s)
  • Elysée (1940s–1950s)
  • EPC (1910s)
  • Erlac (1948–1940s)
  • Etincelle (1930s)
  • Europe (1930s–1940s)
  • Fanal (1955–1960s)
  • Fauchon (1950s)
  • Favor (1945–1950s)
  • Ferro (1920s)
  • Feuclair (1910)
  • Feudor (1924–1981)
  • Feujeve (1920s)
  • Feu-Rex, Dandy (1910s–1930s)
  • F.G. (1910s)
  • Fire-Jet (1960s)
  • Fix Fire (1960s) 
  • Flameclair (1930s)
  • Flami Flamy (1980s)
  • Flamidor (1890s–present)
  • Flaminaire (1947–1975)
  • Flamm'Lux (1940s)
  • Flamor (1930s) 
  • Flex (1939–1944)
  • Floating (1930s)
  • Fokalux (1930s)
  • Follet & Cie, Ain (1930–1968) 
  • Formisyn (1920s)
  • Fram (1950s)
  • Fujiama (1927–1940s)
  • Fulgur (1950s)
  • GFMC (1960s)
  • GG 14 (1910s)
  • Givenchy (?)
  • GLC (1930s)
  • Helios (1930s)
  • Hermes (1931–1950s)
  • H-M (1940s ?)
  • Lancel (1928–1965)
  • L’Aquilon (1916–1940s)
  • Lux (1930s–1940s)
  • Luxuor (1930s–1940s)
  • Luxtrik (1930s–1940s)
  • Quercia (1930s–1950s)
  • Meteor (1930s–1940s)
  • Mont Blanc, MTBL (1940s–present)
  • Molux (1930s)
  • Myon (1930–1940s)
  • Nova (1930s–1950s)
  • S.t. Dupont (1940–present)
  • Ostertag (1938–1939)
  • Olympic (1940s)
  • Polaire (1930s–1940s)
  • Savent (1930s)
  • Van Cleef & Arpels (1925–1939)
  • Vulc Auto (1930s)

Monaco
  • Azur (1940s)
Italy
  • SAFFA, Società Anonima Fabbriche Fiammiferi e Affini (1938–1980s)

Great Britain (England)
  • Allverne (1930s)
  • Alvem (1920s–1930s)
  • Asprey (1910s–1950s)
  • Beney Lighters (1919–1950s)
  • Balita (1950s)
  • Barford (1930s)
  • Charles (1940s–1950s)
  • Classic (1927–1939)
  • Colibri, previously JBELO (1928–present)
  • Dunhill (1907–present)
  • Everest (1932–1935)
  • Fireline (late 1940s–1950s)
  • Flintop (1940s–1950s)
  • Hahway (1920s)
  • Jest (1940s)
  • Maurice (1930s)
  • McMurdo (1949–1955)
  • Mosda (1947–1969)
  • Orlik (1916–1940s)
  • Parker (1925–1939)
  • Polo (1933–1950s)
  • Premier (1925–1928)
  • Unity (1934–1939)
  • Viveroy (1920s)

Germany
  • Altenpohl & Pilgram, A.P. (1935–1950s)
  • Auti (1940s)
  • Baier, Frankfurt am Mein (1945–1960s)
  • BeBe, Bruchhaus & Baltrusch (1919–1980)
  • Braun AG, Kronberg (1966–1983)
  • Bruma (1922–1939)
  • Carlton (1930s)
  • Chic (1940s)
  • Chronos (1910s–1920s)
  • Consul (GK) (1952–1972)
  • Dobereiner (1830s)
  • Durkopp (1910s–1920s)
  • D.R.G.M. (1910s–1930)
  • Eclydo (1950s)
  • ELDRO - Herman E. Drollinger (1925–1978)
  • FBM (1964–1970s)
  • Gebrüder Köllisch (GK) Metalwarenfabrik (1910–1971)
  • Gesch (1910s–1930s)
  • Hahway (1910s–1930s)
  • H/R (1940s)
  • Ibelo (1919–1996)
  • Ideal (1930s–1940s)
  • Kaschie, Firma Karl Schieder Metalwarenfabrik, Nürnberg (1919–1965)
  • Karl Wieden, KW, KAWEE, KAAWEE (1914–1950s)
  • Kremer Metal Works (1930s–1940s)
  • Mylflam (1910–1970's)
  • Paul Grunwald, Metallwarenfabrik, Berlin (Dr. Günther Schmidt) (1920s–1945)
  • Sarastro (1928)
  • Rowenta (1948–1993)
  • VEB Metallgeräte Elgersburg, Thüringen, DDR (1948–1990)
  • VEB Luckenwalder Metallwaren Fabrik, Luckenwalde, DDR (1949–1975)
  • VEB Hydraulik Rochlitz Werk IV, Geringswalde (1958–1980s)

Switzerland

  • Combo (1930s)
  • Eterna (1920s–1930s)
  • Hermanns (1930s)
  • Juvenia (1928–1936)
  • La Nationale (1920–present)
  • Marxman (1960s)
  • Thorens (1919–1960s)


Japan
  • CMC (1940s)
  • Crown (1940s–1950s)
  • Hadson Beach (1970s–1980s)
  • K.K.W. (1940s–1950s)
  • Maruman Co (1950–present), lighter production only in the 1960s and 1970s
  • MTC (1950s–1960s) 
  • Supreme (1950s–1964)
  • Swank (1950s–1960s)

Poland
  • Premet S.A., Pieszyce (1945–2011)
  • Zygmunt Konopczyński (1910–1930s)
  • ZZSD Predom Termet in Świebodzice (1970s–1980s)

Ronson Puritan, 1936


This Ronson Puritan was first manufactured in 1936. It was only produced in Newark, N.J. (U.S.). There are at least three different versions of this lighter they vary mainly in some details in the upper part. On the first spot it is easy to confuse this lighter with the earliest versions of the Ronson Decanter the only difference is the four legged base.

This wick lighter has a radiused rim on the top. It is twice as light as the Ronson Decanter though the dimensions are almost the same.

The Puritan is a handy lighter designed in the Art Deco style. It is covered with a thick layer of silver which is additionally protected by a transparent lacquer which often is partly deteriorated. The four-legged base is padded with green felt.

The Ronson Puritan was also sold in 1949 in 2-piece (cigarette holder + lighter) and 3-piece set (tray + cigarette holder + lighter). I saw them only once.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Marked on the long lever side press:
RONSON
U.S. PAT. RE.
NO.19,023

Scarcity: very rare

Value for good–mint condition: $350.00–550.00 (approx €250.00–390.00)

Weight: 133 grams (0,29 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 11.0 cm (4.3")
  • diameter: 5.0 cm (1,97")

Bulb, Sterling, ca. 1954


The 'Bulb' table lighter was manufactured in ca. 1954. The base of the lighter is in the shape of a bulb and it is made of glass (not crystal glass) and silver sterling (925). It has a sterling plain rim with raised beading around the inside edge and marked 'STERLING'. The maker of this lighter is unknown though the base was most probably manufactured whether in Japan or in the United States.

The lighter was also sold with a matching ashtray and cigarette urn. The set is very similar from the shape on to the previous described Hy Glo & Frank M. Whiting, glass and sterling, 1931.

The lighter insert is a standard chrome plate insert made in Japan. Marked on the bottom 'JAPAN'.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for very good–mint condition: $20.00–35.00 (approx €15.00–25.00)

Weight: 135 grams (0,3 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 5.4 cm (2.1")
  • diameter: 5.8 cm (2.3")

A.S.R. Florentine Dagger Lighter, 1952


The "Florentine Dagger" was manufactured in 1952 by the American Safety Razor Co. in the United States (Brooklyn, New York). It is a fine example of a mid-century multipurpose Ascot product which combines a lighter, paper weight and a letter opener. In desperate moments it can also be used as a dagger a short bladed stabbing weapon. It was available in four different finishes with faux green, black, gold and jade marble-like plastic handle.

The Florentine Dagger Lighter was marketed in a presentation box and was also available with a matching sturdy leather-like sheath in brown, black or green. Marked on the blade:

A·S·R· Ascot
(R)

MADE IN U.S.A.
PAT. D165250

The lighter insert has an automatic 'Light-Switch Action' and stays lit without holding. It is marked:
A·S·R· CORP.
315 JAY ST.
BROOKLYN, N.Y.
PATENT D-146973

PAT. RE. 23,207
MADE IN U.S.A.

One of the advertisement published in the "Life" magazine in 1952 says about this product: "Most dramatic lighter of the year - the Florentine Dagger by Ascot. Lighter... letter opener... paperweight and distinguished desk ornament all in one, the Florentine's distinctive Renaissance design and authentic detail make it a lighter to be prized, a gift to be treasured. At smarter stores, coast-to-coast."

Scarcity: uncommon

Value for good–mint condition: $30.00–55.00 (approx €20.00–40.00)

Weight: 198 grams (0,44 pounds), sheath – 22 grams (0,05 pounds)

Dimensions:

  • length: 24,7 cm (9.57")
  • width: 7.3 cm (2.87")
  • height: 1.5 cm (0.59")