|Beautiful and very rare 1950's Dunhill Aquarium petrol lighter featuring a Salmon swimming up river in Scotland. Lucite body with silver plated metal finish. Stamped to base Made in England Patent No.143752.
These lighters were made from Lucite, which was developed in WWII as an alternative to glass, because of its shatterproof qualities, it was invaluable for everything from airplane windshields to submarine periscopes. Following the conflict, the remaining Lucite stock found its way into artists’ studios and designers’ workshops. The lighters were created by Ben Shillingford who was later joined by Margaret and Allan Bennett. While Margaret was responsible for the pencil and watercolour blueprints, it was Allan who carved the panels once the designs had been approved by Dunhill. Like Shillingford, he used dental tools to complete the intricate work, before his wife undertook the back painting of the panels, ensuring every lighter was unique. No two aquarium lighters are the same, making them each a unique work of art. Shillingford’s skills were so outstanding that when he retired the skills necessary to continue manufacturing the aquarium lighter could not be found and production ceased. Dunhill counted royalty, aristocrats and the European elite among its clients, including the cigar-smoking Sir Winston Churchill who kept a Dunhill aquarium lighter on his desk at Chartwell Manor.