Thorens Portor "Lady" Desk Lighter, 1928


The Thorens Portor "Lady" Table/Desk Lighter was manufactured in Switzerland in 1928/1929. The wick lighter insert is a Thorens semi-automatic 'single claw' model that was manufactured between 1918 and 1935. It is made of brass and gold plated; stamped: 

GOLD PLATED  
MADE OF SWITZERLAND 
 B L
and G T on the top lid

The discreet "BL" (fr. Briquet de Luxe, eng. luxury lighter) indicates that the lighter was intended to be sold in France as it is a French tax mark. The mark was introduced in 1926 and applied only on luxury lighters like Quercia, Lancel and Thorens.  


The column shaped base of the lighter and the Art Deco nude lady are made of brass. Both have an antique finish applied on. No monogram shields present and no marks on the bottom of the base. More info about the lighter and the GT stamp are welcome!

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: very rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $450–650.00 (approx. €400–550.00)

Weight: 195 grams (0.43 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 8.9 cm (3.5")
  • diameter: 5.6 cm (2.2")

Ronson Art Déco Table Lighter, 1934


The Ronson "Art Déco" also referred as the "Tall Boy" (Urban Cummings) is one of the rarest and most representative lighters for the Art Deco period ever made by Ronson. It was manufactured in a small amount between 1934 and 1935 by ART METAL WORKS INC. in Newark (New Jarsey) in the United States.

Art Deco was the predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colors. The favorite materials used in finishing household items were glass, chrome, bakelite and enamel.


This particular lighter has a chrome plated brass body which major part is covered with black enamel which gives a very contrastive design. The lighter is relatively tall and thin and is neither handy nor particularly heavy.

The body of the lighter is based on an oval. A beautiful Art Deco ornamental monogram shield is present on one side (see photo above). A 1934 Ronson catalog shows also a version with a running scotty dog and a drunk hanging on to a light pole (both are without a monogram shield), see below. Both motives were also used on the Ronson De-Light "Jumbo" table lighter.


The bottom of the lighter is marked:

RONSON DE-LIGHT
U.S. PAT. RE. NO. 19023
ART METAL WORKS INC.
NEWARK, N.J. U.S.A.

RONSON DE-LIGHT
PATENTED JUNE 17.1928

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: very rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $400–600.00 (approx. €300–500.00)

Weight: 155 grams (0.33 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 13.9 cm (5.5")
  • width: 4.1 cm (1.6")
  • depth: 6.8 cm (2.7")

Rowenta & Copeland Spode Table Lighter, 1963


Between 1963 and 1969 Rowenta co-working with the famous English pottery brand – Copeland Spode (England) manufactured a charming table lighter. The base of the lighter was made of ceramic and hand-painted with the Herring Hunt – "The Hunt" pattern. Thus every lighter is different.


Other thing which distinguishes the lighter is the sterling silver (.925) mounting made by Johann Franz Jr. Silberwarenfabrik in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany – marked 925 JF (see below) and weighing approx. 40 grams.


Matching ashtrays, cigarette holders, candle sticks and other tableware were also manufactured and sold by Copeland Spode in the 1960s.


The lighter insert Gas-Snip (model F 4626) was made by Rowenta Metallwarenfabrik GmbH in Offenbach am Main, Germany. It was patented in 1958 and produced on large scale in various finishes between 1959–1970. This particular insert was made of brass and silver plated. It is stamped: 

Rowenta Gas-Snip
GERMANY 
PAT.

The lighter base is round and marked on the bottom:

COPELAND
SPODE
ENGLAND
"OFF TO DRAW"
3

"THE HUNTSMAN"
6

Type: butane (gas) lighter

Scarcity: rare

Value for very good–mint condition:  $70–120.00 USD

Weight: 175 grams (0.38 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 7.5 cm (3")
  • diameter: 6.2 cm (2.4")

Ronson De-Light Superba Table Lighter, 1929


The Ronson De-Light "Superba" (model no. 12773) was one of the earliest automatic table lighters made by Art Metal Works Inc. in Newark (New Jersey) USA. It was manufactured between 1929 and 1932. 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 himself.


The lighter is shaped like a trophy with a handle and made of brass and chrome plated. The body of the lighter is based on a hexagon and each wall has an engine-turned design. On one side a small rectangle monogram shield is present (see photo above).

The bottom of the lighter is padded with green felt and marked:

RONSON DE-LIGHT
"SUPERBA"
U.S. PATS.
1290011-1673727,
OTHER U.S. & FOREIGN PAT'S PDG.

ART METAL WORKS
INC.
NEWARK, N.J.
U.S.A.

RONSON DE-LIGHT
PATENTED JUNE 17.1928

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Scarcity: very rare

Value for very good–mint condition: $300–500.00 (approx. €250–400.00)

Weight: 150 grams (0.32 pounds)

Dimensions:
  • height: 12,9 cm (5")
  • width: 7.5 cm (3")
  • depth: 5.3 cm (2")