Ben Shillingford worked for Dunhill in the 1950’s, he perfected the art of carving and painting lucite panels to resemble miniature aquariums, these panels were then applied to the lighter bodies in four sections. Lucite was developed in world war II and used by the American and royal airforce as an alternative to glass which would not shatter when under fire. Following the war, the lucite that remained found its way into the workshops and studios of artists, designers and Jewellery makers.
It could be carved and painted, resulting in highly decorative shiny objet d’art. Each Dunhill Aquarium lighter is unique, having been hand made the decoration of each varies considerably. The unique skills required to carve and design the panels were limited to Ben Shillingford and his small team. Production ceased in the 1970’s and thus the limited number of lighters are highly sought and collected.