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trench lighter?

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (1 item)

    Looking for help in finding out who the maker of this trench lighter is. I have looked all over the internet, and have come up with similar items, but not identical to this particular one.

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    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    1. Maggi Maggi, 7 years ago
      Thank you...but its a military style trench was the only other descripition I could put it under. Any help would be wonderful. Bower made some similar, but not identical
    2. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      It is a "trench lighter" -- I wouldn't call it a trench ART lighter.

      The form was popular with lots of makers through the 1940s. Since yours is silver colored (chrome??), I would think yours is from the latter part of the timeline.

      I don't know the maker.

    3. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      I should have said height of popularity was WW1- 1940s. There are modern made ones as well.

    4. Maggi Maggi, 7 years ago
      Thank you, I will keep looking
    5. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 7 years ago
      Hi Maggi, have you found anything on this yet? A while back I researched one for a friend, I believe his was brass and made in Germany. And yes, a trench lighter. If memory serves me right, this may be missing a piece as was my friends. With or without the piece they didn't bring in much money wise. Personally, I think they are pretty awesome. I'll ask my friend about it and let you know.
    6. SerbianSpark, 7 years ago
      Hello Maggi,
      Your lighter is made in Japan around WWII. It is NOT neither a Trench Lighter nor a Trench Art Lighter, it was made in a factory far from the war fields.
      And yes, IMCO of Austria first came with the design, read about it here:
      From 1940's and later there were few brands copied IMCO's design (including Bowers of USA). IMCO stopped producing this lighter in early 1930's and the factory closed in June 2012. Today eBay is overloaded with same design cheap Chinese products.
    7. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      This particular STYLE is commonly called a "trench lighter". The story of its origins in the trenches of WW1 may not be accurate, but "trench lighter" is a common collector term for lighters of this style with the "flame hiding sleeve".

      I do agree that it is NOT Trench Art.

    8. SerbianSpark, 7 years ago
      I've been in cigarette lighter collecting for years and among lighter collectors it is very incorrect to call this lighter a trench lighter because it has nothing to do with any war and especially not with WWI. It is "commonly called a trench lighter" among laymen and not among experts.
      scottvez, we have discussed this issue some time ago with no results. With all my respect to you and all others I've replied to Maggi and do not want to start another endless discussion.
    9. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      Didn't know we had talked before-- I am not lighter expert.

      Among antique collectors-- the "Trench Lighter" term is common although it appears to be a misnomer.

      Incidently, the vast majority of "trench art" has nothing at all to do with trenches either!


    10. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      I did some additional research and found some great information:

      "After WW I .... IMCO switched to the production of cigarette lighters. In the early days, these were made of empty cartridge cases. The shape of the cartridges could still be seen in the forms of the early IMCO lighters."

      "The IFA lighter (“IMCO Feuerzeuge [Lighters] Austria”) was one of the first products in IMCO's lighter range. It was produced and exported in huge numbers in the 1920s. The beginnings, namely production using brass cartridge cases, are still clearly visible."

      Based on this information, and IMCO's introductory lighters being TRENCH ART (made from War residue), it is easy to see why these are commonly referred to as "Trench Lighters".

      The SOURCE is the Company web page (still online, even though the CO. closed recently):

    11. SerbianSpark, 7 years ago
      That's not IMCO website.
      Cartridges were never used but brass of the cartridges as a material and lighters were produced in the factory.
      You can call this lighter a Faberge if you wish.
      But it doesn't have anything to do with Faberge.
    12. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      Thanks-- thought it was their site.

      Do you have actual IMCO source material?

      Was this STYLE of lighter made from cartridge brass?

    13. SerbianSpark, 7 years ago
      Yes, after The Great War cartridges were melted and brass was used for making these lighters.
      Unfortunately IMCO factory and archives was destroyed at the end of WWII so there is a very little documentation left.
    14. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago

      Far from having "nothing to do with any war and especially not with WWI"-- THE ORIGIN of this STYLE of lighter has a direct connection to the GREAT WAR and to TRENCH ART!

    15. SerbianSpark, 7 years ago
      If today some factory melts that lighter and use the brass for making, let's say, a candle holder - would you consider it a Trench Art?
    16. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      Yes. "Trench Art" is utilitarian and decorative items made from War residue.

      "Swords into Plowshares" is the general concept.

      By the way, I am a 30 Collector of Trench Art with several hundred items in my collection.

      I would add that not all trench art is created equal. I would not have a great deal of interest in the lighter turned to candle holder, but it still belongs in the genre of trench art.

    17. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      It would be hard to document the FACTS in your example of the candle holder.

      If your fantasy item existed, the maker would have to go to great lengths to DOCUMENT that it indeed originated in shell brass.

      I suspect that most trench art collectors would share my lack of enthusiasm to acquire what I would call a "second generation" trench art candle holder.

    18. SerbianSpark, 7 years ago
      Thanks for all your replies, Scott.
      But I need to accent that I and vast majority of lighter collectors TOTALLY disagree with your definitions of Trench Art. There were lot of discussions over the years on this topic and none of your definitions are acceptable.
      For me this discussion ends here. Take care and good luck.
    19. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      I wouldn't rely on Lighter Collectors to define Trench Art. The vast majority of Trench Art Collectors would agree with "Sword into Plowshares" definition.

      Here is a good read-- the most comprehensive book on Trench Art (Available at most libraries):

      I do have some disagreements with the book, but it is a great reference work for collectors.


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