Airbrushed and Hand Painted Zippo Lighters


Claudio Mazzi is known in the Zippo World as the number one in airbrush painting since 1985. Although Mazzi is by far the most popular in this field other artist are trying to go his path and do air paint Zippo lighters for private collectors and organizations.

One of them is Maaks - a young Polish airbrush artist living in the United Kingdom. He started airbrush painting of Zippo lighters in 2012. Below are two projects from his Maaks portfolio. On the right a beautiful example of Mazzi's piece of art. 



You might be also interested in seeing the portfolio of Art Enchent and Claudio Mazzi.

Patent: Phinney Walker Combo Clock Lighter, 1950


This is an interesting Combined Clock Case and Cigarette Lighter design patented (158,097) by Samuel J. Kaufman on Apr. 11, 1950. This combo was marketed and made by Phinney-Walker in the early 1950s. Another Phinney-Walker Alarm Clock Lighter was described here.

Antique postcard from the First World War, 1914


Here we have a postcard from the First World War dating 1914–1918. The postcard is depicting a soldier in an strange outfit firing a cigar lift-arm lighter.

FAQ: Ronson Banjo Pocket Lighter Instruction, 1928


The first automatic pocket lighter Ronson Banjo was marketed by Art Metal Works, Inc., Newark, N. J. in 1928 in the United States. Here with have the instruction sheet for it.

How are St. Dupont Lighters made? Watch this video!

Antique postcard depicting two lovers,1920s


Here we go a vintage (probably Polish) postcard from the Art Deco period. It depicts two lovers who use a cigarette as a lighter.

Advert: Ronson Varaflame Premier & Rafale Pocket Lighters, 1960


This Ronson magazine advertisement was published in an unknown French magazine in 1960. It depicts Ronson pocket butane lighter models such as: Varaflame Premier and Rafale.


Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations for lighter collectors [D-G]

  • Date letter is a letter of the alphabet stamped with a punch in conjunction with hallmarks on British silver. Each letter represents a specific year, recording the official date of manufacturing of an item. The date letter system was introduced in London in 1478. The cycles of date letters were usually in strings of 20 and each cycle was differentiated by changing the font style, latter case and shield shape. Date letters are very useful for dating silver lighters made in GB. 
  • Doulton Company an English company producing tableware and collectibles, dating to 1815. Operating originally in London, its reputation grew in The Potteries, where it was a latecomer compared to Spode, Wedgwood and Minton. The Royal Doulton Company began as a partnership between John Doulton, Martha Jones, and John Watts, with a factory at Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth, London. The company took the name Doulton in 1853. Production ended at Lambeth in 1956 but continues today at Burlslem under the name Royal Doulton Fine China. It is famous among others for Toby Jugs which were also used as table lighters bases. 
  • DBP – abbreviation for Deutsches Bundespatent (German for "Federal German Patent). It has been used since 1949 for lighters manufactured in Germany.
  • DPMA Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt German Patent and Trade Mark Office (GPTO) is the German national patent office, with headquarters in Munich, and offices in Berlin and Jena The first unified Patentgesetz (German Patent Act) was adopted on 25 May 1877, which mandated the establishment of an authority tasked with reviewing and awarding patents. On this basis, on 1 July 1877, the Kaiserliche Patentamt (Imperial Patent Office) was founded in Berlin. Am 2. Juli 1877 wurde das erste deutsche Patent für ein „Verfahren zur Herstellung einer rothen Ultramarinfarbe“ des Erfinders Johannes Zeltner erteilt. Die erste Marke wurde am 16. Oktober 1894 für einen Berliner Lampenproduzenten eingetragen.
  • DBGM – abbreviation for Deutsches Bundesgebrauchsmuster (Gebrauchsmuster / Gebrauchsmusterschutz) which is an intellectual property right to protect inventions within Germany granted since October 1952.
  • DRGM – abbreviation for Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchs Muster (German Reich Utility Model) which was an intellectual property right to protect inventions within Germany granted between 1891 and 1949. The property right was only valid for three years.
  • DRP – abbreviation for Deutsches Reichspatent (German for "German Reich Patent). It was granted for lighters manufactured in Germany between 1918 and 1945.
  • DRWZ – the acronym D.R.W.Z. with or without punctuation stands for Deutsches Reichswarenzeichen, meaning that an item marked as such was officially registered under trademark laws inside all of the Germany states and not only locally registered as it was the case before the introduction of centralized registration. Note that many people quote this acronym as standing for 'Deutsches Reich Warenzeichen', which is grammatically wrong and also omits the letter 's' after Reich. This results in shifting the weight of pronunciation on 'Deutsches Reich' alone, but this acronym has nothing to do with the Third Reich as many sellers want to imply so to catch the attention of certain 'collectors'. D.R.W.Z. registrations were introduced 1891 and if you are dating items you should hold in mind that even during Allied occupation up until 1949, registration procedures remained untouched and still used the D.R.W.Z. registration documents, which of course explains why such marks can be found on products actually manufactured up until 1952 as the registration itself was valid for three years. As from the end of October 1952, all registrations were definately marked as 'Deutsches Bundeswarenzeichen' (D.B.W.Z.) or simply 'Eingetragenes Warenzeichen'.
  • Delft ware – denotes blue and white pottery made in and around Delft in the Netherlands and the tin-glazed pottery made in the Netherlands from the 16th century. Delftware in the latter sense is a type of pottery in which a white glaze is applied, usually decorated with metal oxides. Delftware includes pottery objects of all descriptions such as plates, ornaments and also lighter bases.
  • De oro – in Spanish de oro means gold. 
  • Denatured alcohol – ethyl alcohol which is used as fuel in certain lighters, for maintenance of wicks in kerosene heaters and lamps to remove water contaminants and restore the capillary action of the wick, as a wick cleaner and a kerosene additive, by adding approx. 1 teaspoon denatured alcohol per gallon of kerosene. As a fuel for older toy steam engines which used a wick-type or vaporizing burner.
  • Déposé – French abbreviation for patent pending, see brevet depose.
  • Depression glass – is clear or colored translucent glassware that was mass produced at low cost, in the United States and Canada around the time of the Great Depression. Common colors are clear (crystal), pink, pale blue, green, and amber. Less common colors include yellow (canary), ultra marine, jadeite (opaque pale green), delphite (opaque pale blue), cobalt blue, red (ruby & royal ruby), black, amethyst, monax, and white (milk glass). Although of marginal quality, Depression glass has been highly collectible since the 1960s. Depression glass was used among others for manufacturing plates, glasses, lighter bases and ashtrays.
  • Die casting is a metal casting process that is characterized by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a closed metal or mould. The casting is removed from the die after a short cooling period. Most die castings are made from non-ferrous metals, specifically zinc, copper, aluminium, magnesium, lead, pewter and tin based alloys. Die casting was very popular among table lighter producers like Ronson.
  • Disposable lighter – inexpensive mass produced pocket lighters meant to be disposed when the tank got empty.
  • Döbereiner's lamp – a lighter invented in 1823 by the German chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner (1780–1849), the lighter is based on the Fürstenberger lighter and was in production until ca. 1880. In the jar, zinc metal reacts with sulfuric acid to produce hydrogen gas. When a valve is opened, a jet of hydrogen is released and bursts into flame. The ignition is catalyzed by platinum metal.
  • Double-tank lighter – type of a lighter in that two separate compartments or chambers are built in in order to ensure safety reserve of fuel. The first double-tank lighter was patented in 1932; US patent no. 1,884,481.
  • Double wheel lighter – is a lighter that uses a double wheel mechanism. Usually the wheel on the side of a lighter turns another that strikes the flint. The spark generated by striking the flint ignites the gas or lighter fluid creating a flame. Double wheel lighters were made among others by Dunhill, Park Sherman, Parker.
  • Dureum – antique gold finish invented and used by Ronson between the 1920s and 1940s. 
  • Duty mark – stamped with a punch in conjunction with hallmarks on British silver. The duty mark system was introduced in 1784 and lasted till 1890. It indicated if the tax on the item was paid to the crown. The mark presented a profile portrait of the reigning monarch's head. 
  • Eslabon – lighter in Spanish.
  • EPNS – abbreviation for Electro Plated Nickel Silver. Nickel silver, also known as German silver, Argentan, new silver, nickel brass, albata, alpacca or electrum is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc. Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance, but it contains no elemental silver unless plated.
  • Electric lighter – type of a lighter powered either by batteries or electric power usually used as a table lighter. Examples of electric lighters: Dunhill silent flame, Tassel-Liter and Fumalux).
  • Enamel – is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing. The powder melts, flows and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, or on glass or ceramics. The term "enamel" is most often restricted to work on metal, which is the subject of this article. Enameled glass is also called "painted". Fired enamelware is an integrated layered composite of glass and metal. Used as a noun, "an enamel" is a usually small decorative object, coated with enamel coating. Enameling is an old and widely adopted technology, for most of its history mainly used in jewelry and decorative art.
  • Engine turning – fine geometric pattern that can be inscribed onto metal as a finish. Aluminium is often the metal chosen but any metal can be finely machined to produce intricate repetitive patterns that offer reflective interest and fine detail.
  • Ferroceriumsee: flint.
  • Feuerzeug – lighter in German.
  • Figural lighter – type of cigarette lighters manufactured in shapes of objects (photo camera, lamp, car), animals (elephant, dog, cat), people (bartender, nude lady, soldier) etc.
  • Filler screw – is a screw of the fluid tank lighter.
  • Flat advertiser – type of a pocket lighter used for marketing purposes with a relatively big advertising imprint area. The vast majority of flat advertisers were manufactured in Japan from the late 1940s to early 1960s. The common company names of these lighters include: Rolex, Rosen-Nesor, Crown, Balboa, Penguin and Vulcan and Rolex.
  • Flint – also called ferro rod or ferrocerium is a man-made metallic material first made in 1903 that gives off a large number of hot sparks at temperatures of 1650°C when scraped against a rough surface (pyrophoricity), such as ridged steel. Because of this property it is used in many applications, such as clockwork toys, strikers for gas welding and cutting torches, so-called "flint-and-steel" or "flint spark lighter" fire-starters in emergency survival kits and of course cigarette lighters, as the initial ignition source for the primary fuel. It is also known in Europe as Auermetall after its inventor Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach. 
  • Flint spring – is a spring that exerts pressure on the flint to keep it in contact with the spark wheel of the lighter. The flint spring is ended on one side with a flint screw.
  • Flint spark lighter – sometimes just called a spark lighter, striker, or flint lighter is a type of lighter used in many applications to safely light a gaseous fuel to start a flame. It is most commonly used for bunsen burners and oxyacetylene welding torches. A flint spark lighter works by rapidly rubbing a small piece of ferrocerium against a rough steel surface (also called the rasp), in much the same way flint and steel are used. This manual rubbing action, done by squeezing the handle, creates a spark which then lights the gaseous fuel.
  • Flint tube – is a tube were the flint spring and the flint itself is mounted in the cigarette lighter.
  • Fluid (lighter) – a common name for butane gas, naphtha and special petroleum solvent used in different types of cigarette and cigar lighters.
  • For. patent – abbreviation for "Foreign patent".
  • Frozen flint – refers to an old decomposed flint (ferrocerium) that got stuck in the flint tube of a cigarette lighter.
  • Fuel – type of a lighter fluid used in wick lighters.
  • Fused flint – see: frozen flint.
  • Gas – type of a lighter fluid (usually butane gas) used in butane cigarette lighters.
  • German silver – also called nickel silver or alpacca is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance but it contains no elemental silver unless plated. The name "German silver" refers to its development by 19th-century German metalworkers in imitation of the Chinese alloy known as paktong.
  • Ges. gesch. – (gesetzlich geschützt) registered/protected by law, marking used on German lighters.
  • GF – abbreviation for gold filled.
  • Gold – precious metal used for coinage, jewelry, and other arts. Lighters made of gold (usually 9ct or 14ct gold) are very rare and their value is usually very high easily excessing $1000.
  • Gold filled – (GF or RGP) also known as "rolled gold" or "rolled gold plate" is composed of a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass. The most common stamps found on gold-filled lighters are 1/20 12K GF and 1/20 14K GF. Also common is 1/10 10K."1/20 14K means 14K gold is 1/20 the total weight which is an equivalent of 0.7K or 0.9 gram of pure gold per oz. For comparison GF items are 50 to 100,000 times thicker than regular gold plating, and 17 to 25,000 times thicker than heavy gold electroplate (sometimes stamped HGE or HGP).
  • Guilloche – (or guilloché) is a decorative engraving technique in which a very precise intricate repetitive pattern or design is mechanically engraved into an underlying material with fine detail. Specifically, it involves a technique of engine turning, called guilloché in French after the French engineer “Guillot”, who invented a machine “that could scratch fine patterns and designs on metallic surfaces”.
Go to: Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations for lighter collectors [A-C] 

Catalog: Lancel Lighters and Smoking Accessories, 1937


The Lancel Company was established by the Lancel Family in 1876. Initially the business consisted of one store situated near the new Opéra Garnier in Paris, France. The main group of products were smoking accessories and leather goods. In 1928 Lancel began manufacturing lighters in their own factory. In the early 1950s Lancel introduced a butane lighter of the same design as their then current petrol model. Production of lighters ceased in 1965 and Lancel focused on selling woman accessories. Below the lighter part of the Lancel catalog from 1937.






Dunhill Aladdin's Lamp Table Lighter, 1938


The Dunhill Aladdin's Lamp Table Lighter also known as the Roman Lamp (first edition) or Genie Lamp was manufactured only for a short period of time between 1938 and 1939 in England which makes it very rare. It is made of an unknown white metal painted with a gold tone paint. Some parts, for example the top as well the wand are made of brass.


The lighter has a very precise trigger activated mechanism – it is operated by pressing down on the wand which actuates the opening of the lid and firing the spark wheel to light the wick in the front – at the same time the wick end of the wand engages the cotton wool in the reservoir – you can either pick up the lamp for a light, or you can withdraw the wand, light it from the front wick and use the wand to light your smoke.

The second incarnation of the Dunhill Roman Table Lighter from the 1952 was described in an earlier post

Type: petrol (wick) lighter

Marked on the underside:
DUNHILL
LONDON

REGD. DESIGN 817955
PAT. APPD. FOR
MADE IN ENGLAND

Scarcity: very rare

Value for good–mint condition: $300.00–600.00 (approx €200.00–400.00)

Weight: 335 grams (11 3/4 oz)

Dimensions:
  • height: 9.5 cm (3.9")
  • length: 15.0 cm (5.9")
  • depth: 10.0 cm (4.0")

Patent: Ronson Banjo Cigar Lighter, 1928


The first automatic pocket cigar lighter Ronson Banjo was invented by Louise V. Aronson the assigner to Art Metal Works, Inc., Newark, N. J. It was patented on 12th June 1928. The patent 1,673,727 protected the lighter mechanism till 1933 when the patent was reissued as patent no. 19,023 on 12th December 1933.



15th International Lighter Convention in Krefeld, Germany


On the 3th of May (Saturday), 2014 the 15th International Lighter Convention in Krefeld, Germany will take place.

Table holders can setup from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
Early entry from 9:00 - 10:00 AM is 10.00 EUR.
Entrance fee from 10:00 AM is 5.00 EUR.

More info can be obtained from Grahame Martin: grahame.martin@t-online.de

As I won't be able to come this year I wish all the visitors great fun and precious memories!

Advert: Ronson Varaflame Lighters, 1960


A full page Ronson magazine advertisement published on 26th December 1960 in an unknown British magazine. The advert features among others Judy Huxtable and two butane table lighters:
  • Ronson Varaflame Queen Anne (6),
  • Ronson Varaflame Adelphi (8).

eBay: Early Tall 3 Barrel Outside Hinge Zippo Lighter


Zippo lighters attract a lot of collectors which are willing to pay top dollar for the rarest examples. Yesterday a rare Tall (2 7/16”) early 1933 Zippo with the three barrel outside hinge was sold for $12,807. The opening bid started at $9.99 on January 3th 2014. Ten days later (13/01/2014) the lighter received a total of 64 bids from 27 bidders. 


This Zippo has decorative diagonal lines. The high price can be explained by the very good condition of this lighter. It has its original hinge which unusual since the original hinges where rather of poor quality and often get broken. Some detailed pictures of the most expensive Zippo sold on eBay:






The second most expensive Zippo was sold on eBay approximately one year ago which was described here: eBay: $6,888.88 for a Tall 1933 Zippo

Mail Order Catalog, N. Shure Co. 1933


Fine examples of cigarette lift-arm table/desk lighters from 1933. Featured are:

  • Dog Table Lighter,
  • Golf Ball Lighter,
  • Mogul, the Lucky Elephant Table Lighter,
  • Camel Table Lighter,
  • Girl of the Hour Table Lighter.