Adam Partridge Auctioneers Cheshire
Auctioneer in Cheshire

30/06/2011 : Rare Dunhill Lighter Ignites Bidding Frenzy

Auction report for sale June 23rd/24th

The Dunhill ‘Tusk’ lighter was consigned by a lady from Buxton who is in the process of clearing out her house. On closer inspection, we realised this was something quite special and highly sought after throughout the worldwide lighter community. The silver mounts are hallmarked for 1937 and clearly stamped with the mark of Alfred Dunhill. This very same lighter (we compared the reg no. and the striations on the tusk!) was illustrated in Dunhill’s catalogue for 1938 and although many of their paper records were destroyed during the London bombing raids in WWII, this is thought to have been a one off. Since the Dunhill catalogue was produced, this lighter has never surfaced, until we produced our sale catalogue. Unsurprisingly the dealers and collectors were quick to pounce on this rare item and the bidding was contested by three phone lines, an internet bidder and a man who had made a special trip up from the south, a trip well made, as he bought the lighter for £3,800.

From the same vendor came an Indian silver three piece tea service which sold for £1,400. This being interesting as Dunhill collectors were expecting the lighter to one day turn up in India, so perhaps that is where it originated and was brought back at some point along with the silver tea service.
Pottery and porcelain from across the world sold well, including 5 pieces of Chinese terracotta which sold for £2,500. We also had consigned a good collection of Zsolnay Pecs pottery, produced in a factory founded in 1853 by Miklós Zsolnay in Pécs, Hungary including some pieces produced through using the Eosin process, which produces an iridescent effect. Top price was £500 for an early 20th Century vase, though they all proved popular.
Also under the hammer was a collection of Staffordshire including a pair of figures ‘The Prince of Wales’ and ‘Prince Alfred’ which made £220.
Our success with Scottish born artist Donald Mcintyre continues as our latest picture by the artist made £2,250. Two more paintings by the artist have since been consigned for our sale August 4th.
An Omega stainless steel automatic wristwatch made £440 and an Omega ladies 18ct wristwatch sold for £1330. Various musical instruments did well, including a stylish walnut and calamander Art Deco piano which sold for £1000 and a French violin labelled J Derazey which made £1,350.
Our last sections of the auction were as always Garden/Architectural and Furniture. A pair large of Italian rouge marble lions sold for £1,650 and two similar Victorian walnut credenzas sold for £900 each.

Our next sale is August 4th and 5th, with a specialist section for textiles. Deadline for entries is 15th July.

A reminder also that we have a militaria sale September 15th and an Oriental and Eastern Works of art specialist section October 27th.

For an amusing and more thorough report please see Maggie's report at