Sold Half Giant Dunhill Ship The Royal William Table Lighter

Price on Request

England, circa 1950-60 A very rare mid 20th-century ‘Aquarium’ table lighter by Dunhill, the gold plated body with panels of engraved and painted lucite, depicting one 18th century and one 19th century galleon; the Royal William 1719 and HM Brig Waterwitch 1834. The internally sprung lift arm with ‘DUNHILL’ in high relief.
England 1955​

Length 4in 10cm

Out of stock


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.

Spellbound by Dunhill Aquarium Lighters

Financing is available on request via Art Money.