May sales diary Smokin’ lots!
Antiques & Collectables Cheshire Life: May 2019
Smoking may be dying out (literally) but collecting ‘smokiana’ – a term coined to cover the accoutrements of the habit – continues to thrive, with the market for vintage lighters by top people’s tobacconist and luxury goods retailer Alfred Dunhill particularly fired up. At the top of most wish lists are the Aquarium table lighters produced in the 1950s in which vividly coloured exotic fish appear to be swimming in three-dimensional settings. Many were produced by the artist Ben Shillingford who achieved the effect by carving the Perspex bodies of the lighters in reverse on the inside, a practice known as intaglio carving. The lighters are rare. They were produced for about 10 years, but Macclesfield auctioneers Adam Partridge offered this example with its matching satin walnut cigarette box, rewarding their owner with a winning bid of £6,000.