Dunhill Tinder Pistol Lighter, 1936

Dunhill Tinder Pistol Table Desk Cigarette LighterThe Dunhill Tinder Pistol is a fine example of an extraordinary table lighter which is in the shape of a flintlock tinder (gun) pistol from the XVIII century. It is made of brass and it has a antique brass finish and a nice oak slab handle (butt). The lighter has a very precise trigger activated mechanism - the top opens and sparks when the trigger is pulled. The Dunhill Tinder Pistol wick lighter was manufactured both in England and USA from ca. 1936 until the early 1960's.

It is worth to know, that the earliest lighters were actually tinder pistols invented in the mid-seventeenth century (example). They were made from broken guns and used the barrel to store tinder instead of gunpowder. The working mechanism was simple though not very save to use at home - the trigger released a mechanism that struck a piece of iron and directed the sparks onto the tinder which ignite.

The Dunhill Tinder Pistol Lighter was replicated in Japan - it was manufactured in the 1950s and was on the first spot indistinguishable from the original. Fortunately, the marking "Japan" on the bottom dissolves all doubts.

It is also worth to know that Dunhill manufactured also a gas (butane) version of this lighter in the late 1960s which is nowadays rare to find.

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Writing on the base:


PATENT NO. 592139

Scarcity: uncommonrare

Value for good–mint condition: $175.00–250.00 (approx €120.00–190.00)

Weight: 313 grams (0.69 pounds)

  • height: 10.0 cm (3.0")
  • width: 6.0 cm (2.36")
  • depth: 14.3 cm (4.0")


    Anonymous said...

    I have a tinder pistol[flint works but have not put in fuel]with the following written on the base:- DUNHILL
    PAT. 592139
    Any interested in acquiring this item can contact me at jokem@mailbox.co.za

    Cristiano said...

    Same as the guy up here, you can contact me at mantracris@alice.it

    Anonymous said...

    Does anyone know where I can buy the hammer for one of these that was made in England?

    Anonymous said...

    i have one in mint shape. it has stamped on the side Browns Motor Company Volkswagen
    If you are interested: msporting@frontier.com

    vg3p@hotmail said...

    I had one sent from USA and Australian customs said it was dangerous and took it..

    Anonymous said...

    Dangerous? Wow, that is interesting. You never know what idea will the customs have...

    Anonymous said...

    I recently acquired one missing the wood handle. Any idea where i could find the replacement part?

    Anonymous said...

    I have bought a Japanese copy version in very good condition.These were made entirely in copper,apart from the wooden butt,and painted black.

    Anonymous said...

    I have the one that is made in the US with patent applied for it has all the parts no scratches and still has some flint in it but does not work or I don't know how to make it work the wood handles have a little damage on one side I just acquired it.

    Anonymous said...

    I recently required one from a client whilst working on her house, it has all structual parts, I have recently repaired it (all with existing parts)and it is fully operational and in good condition. and interest please email me,

    lloyd : lstanford74@hotmail.com

    Anonymous said...

    recently acquired a pistol lighter that is marked simply DUNHILL .....but unlike many 'pistol-tenderbox' lightes I've seen, this on has no 'box'...it just looks like an wood handle pistol....the butt is shaped differently too than most I've seen in that it sorta of 'tapers' to a point rather than the rather gourd shaped ones you commonly see.......

    It stands upright via the small metal scrolling 'easel'.....but other than that...looks like a small 18th Century style pistol....

    Any thoughts/ideas/input?


    Anonymous said...

    i have one that i got at an auction for $4 that says made in italy on the bottom. Whats it worth? I dont know if id call it mint condition but very good condition

    Anonymous said...

    i also have 1 in great shape,says dunhill tinder pistol made in usa pat, applied for. i'd like to sell it so if interested email me at myschif69@yahoo.com

    Anonymous said...

    i have a dunhill tinder pistol pat appl for in good condition wa
    what may it be worth

    Anonymous said...

    whats worth more made in england or usa? also how do you find the true age? email me at jpf144@gmail.com thanks

    Anonymous said...

    I have a dunhill tinder pistol lighter in good condition. Please email me at ilromanousa@yahoo.com if interested. Thank you.

    Anonymous said...

    I purchased one today at thrift store for 4.99 great condition...complete( made in USA patent applied)
    Nice to know its a collectible.

    Unknown said...

    I have one of the rarest Dunhill tinder box lighters... it has a small candle holder at the side of the tinder box the idea being, when the butler came into a room with lots of candles to light (candleabras) he would ignite the tinder only once then use the small candle to go to all the other candles....
    VERY RARE... might sell.... springerfern@hotmail.co.uk

    Diane Mathers said...

    I have a made in England that has on the bottom
    PROV.PAT. 19273/34
    REGD. No. 794093
    Tinder pistol
    Can’t find anything for it.
    It did originate in England from my grandfather who passed away in 1940

    Howard Crawford said...

    I have one from England that is butane, my father in law brought it from England in the 60s. Any idea on worth?

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