The auction of traditional masterpieces in Hong Kong next month is expected to achieve up to HK$200 million.
|Vintage Ronson cigarette lighters were refillable, metal lighters and were produced by the American company Ronson.
History & Description
The company started as The Art Metal Works and was founded in 1897 by Max Hecht, Louis V. Aronson and l. Herzig. Louis V. Aronson was the driving force behind the company. He patented a series of sparking toys and sparking devices from the 1910's - 1920's. Then, in 1926, Aronson received an exclusive patent for a new style of automatic lighter that could be operated with just one hand. The new Banjo lighters were marketed under the Ronson name and with the slogan; “A flip – and it’s lit! Release – and it’s out!” Understanding the potential for his newly designed Automatic action lighter, he with the help a few others, created a World Wide craze when free matches were everywhere.
The new lighters were immediately popular and Aronson created a new division within the company. The Ronson Consumer Products Corporation soon offered a variety of lighters for all tastes and was known for its dependable and stylish cigarette lighters.
In 2010, the Ronson brand was acquired by Zippo Manufacturing Company.
Guide for collectors
In its heyday, the company produced a variety of well-built and stylish cigarette lighters, including the Golf Ball Lighter, the Monkey Pick-a-Cig and the Cricket Table Lighter. Records show that the most valuable items are the variations of the Touch-Tip bartender lighters.
Vintage Ronson cigarette lighters are occasionally sold at national auction houses. In addition, a good selection of vintage products is also advertised frequently on eBay.
For more information, collectors should visit the following websites; Vintage Ronson Lighters, Vintage Flames and Collector Kevin.
Notable auction sales
On March 13th 2005 at Randy Inman Auctions Inc. in Waterville, Maine, a Ronson Touch-Tip cigarette lighter depicting a woman bartender realised a price of $2,900.
On March 13th 2005 at Randy Inman Auctions Inc. in Waterville, Maine, a Ronson Touch-Tip cigarette lighter depicting a black bartender realised a price of $2,700.
On December 6th 2002 at Sotheby’s in New York, a Ronson Touch-Tip bartender lighter and similar cigarette dispenser realised a price of $2,390.
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