Flaminaire Quercia Gentry Table Lighter, 1947

The Flaminaire Gentry Desk/Table Lighter was the first gas lighter in the world to be sold commercially. The manufacturing started in Paris, France in 1947 and lasted till 1951. The lighter itself was presented to the wide audience at the Hotel Crillon in Paris on 19th of June 1947. The appearance of a new lighter concept was accompanied by full page magazine advertisements. The lighter itself was very expensive – 20,000 Francs (average French salary) and only few could afford it. The best markets for the Gentry except France were the United Kingdom and USA.

The marketing success of the Gentry and other models made by Flaminaire like Baronet began a new era in the lighter industry. The manufacturers were starting to switch from gasoline to gas which involved new inventions that allowed among others to resign from the factory made "butagaz" tanks used by the Gentry.

The Gentry lighter was based on Pingeot patent dated March 21, 1935 which was sold to Marcel Quercia. After the II World War M. Quercia together with the Shell corporation started to refine and manufacture the idea of Pingeot. Soon the Buta-bloc lighter was born, so named to identify the lighter’s butane gas refill system which was patented in France in 1946 (patent no. FR 912414-A). The design of the Flaminaire was patented a year later in Jul, 1 1947 by Marcel Quercia and Georges Ferdinand (patent no. FR 923219-A, see below).

The body of the table lighter was made of brass and was available in at least six different finishes:
  1. Gold plate combined with pearl brown lacquer (very rare, from 1949).
  2. Silver plate combined with black lacquer (rare).
  3. Silver plate with dotted texture (rare).
  4. Silver plate with vertical stripes (rare, see picture).
  5. Silver plate mainly covered with alligator skin (rare).
The Gentry Lighter is marked on the bottom:

Fonctionne au BUTAGAZ
Mis en service le
Brevete France & Etranger
The gas tank allowed according to Flaminaire for 10000 lits. And if the gas tank was empty you had to buy another one. If you want to dismantle the lighter this video might be helpful.

Type: gas (butane) lighter

Scarcity: rare to very rare (dependent on finish)

Value for very good–mint condition: $100.00–200.00 (approx. €75.00–150.00)

Weight: 340 grams (0.75 lbs)

  • height: 99 mm (3.9")
  • width: 72 mm (2.8")
  • depth: 36 mm (1.4")


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