Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Antique Lighter Collection

Off and on I've been working on a big post about why I have a lighter collection and it's just taking me forever.  It's such a big part of my youth that it's hard to really get it all out there so I've decided that perhaps I'll just share my collection first and THEN one day I'll share my background with lighters! :)  

In a nutshell though, my dad is an internationally known antique lighter collector (a non-smoking one, at that) and I grew up hunting for lighters and attending lighter conventions with him.  Naturally while sharing that pastime with him, I built my own small collection over the years. 

Being a youngin' at conventions, I was often just gifted lighters.  Some junky and some, beautiful pieces.  Over the years, I always took a shine to a particular design of Ronson lighters.  Many of these pieces are complete with the box, literature and all of the random goodies that came with the old-school lighters back in the day.  They're not necessarily the most rare of the Ronsons but I always thought they were gorgeous and, in the lighter world, very practical and functional. 

One piece of my collection though IS quite notable - this atomizer aka perfume mister.  Yes, it's not a lighter but it does boast that beautiful design I so love.  This also still has its original box and it has the sweetest scent of a perfume from the past.  It's safe to say this is my favorite piece of my collection.

In addition to the purple flower goods (which I'm sure have some snazzy name that I'm not aware of), I picked up some other Ronson pieces.  The Ronson line was quite prolific back in their heyday. 

In regards to my 'other' Ronsons, the most notable would be the gold piece centered below.  Lighter collecting was my first gateway to meeting people from all over the world.  I couldn't even begin to explain some of the characters I met through this hobby.  Once we had a Scot come and stay with our family for a bit.  All I really remember about him was how thick his accent was, how my mom made pies for their arrival and how he brought tons of gifts for us, mainly pertaining to Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest.  One gift he brought for me though was that lighter below; a mint condition, Mother of Pearl, gold Ronson in the box.  I still can't believe he gifted that to me.  It's hard to choose a favorite between that and my atomizer. 

As evidenced by the atomizer above, Ronson did more than just make lighters.  When the company was just starting out, it was known as AMW or Art Metal Works at the turn of the century when they produced all sorts of goods.  I'm lucky enough to have two sets of AMW Buddha bookends in my collection as well.  They are slightly fantastic.

Most of my displayed collection consists of what you've seen above but I do have a few extra special pieces thrown in as well.  I also have a small shoebox filled with those 'junkier' lighters I was given as a kid and my more beat up Ronsons.  They serve no other purpose nowadays except to take me down memory lane every few years when I decide to go through them. 

So there you have it, my lighter collection.  I've been wanting to document this collection for yearrrrrrrs so I'm glad I finally got around to it.  I've really been enjoying sharing some of my random collections here.  There are more to come, one day.

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