Book review: Collectible Lighters, 2003

  • Full title: Collectible Lighters
  • Author: Juan Manuel Clarke
  • Binding: Soft cover
  • Number of pages: 384
  • Publisher: Flammarion et Cie
  • Publication date: 2003
  • Language: English (available also in German and French)
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 inches
  • ISBN 10: 2080111337
  • ISBN 13: 9782080111333
  • Availability: used and new on amazon
  • Price range: $4–10

Description of the book provided by the publisher:

The lighter, with its striker, fuel, and wick, was invented less than a century ago, and has since become an extremely popular collector's item, available in every imaginable shape and style. The contents of this richly illustrated volume range from the humble Bic (albeit with stylish James Bond designs), to the most luxurious of lighters, such as the bracelet/lighter manufactured in the 1930s by the Flamidor jewelers.

There are, of course, many examples of the archetypal Zippo, as well as brands like Dupont, Dunhill, and Polaire. A large section is devoted to soldiers' lighters - made from bullet cartridges, shields, and national coins - that tell their own story of the experiences of a young man at war.

Another section features figurative lighters, including one ingenious device that doubles as both a lighter and a functioning camera!

Collectible Lighters is a perfect source on the topic for all those interested in lighters, whether vintage or novelty, elegant or fun.


Introduction 10
Workday lighters 38
Soldiers' lighters 108
Novelty lighters 180
Luxury lighters 228
Promotional lighters 326
Index 372
Acknowledgments 374
Bibliography 377

Sample pages:

coming soon...


A small inconspicuous and handy book full of great pictures and worth knowing facts. A book for everyone who enjoys beautiful objects. This description fits only to one book devoted to lighters, namely the "Collectible Lighters"; a book written by Juan Manuel Clarke.

The book covers over 300 lighters which are divided into sections like novelty or luxury lighters. The choice of what lighter belongs to which section was made quite subjective. Also a keen observer will find out that French lighters are heavily favored as well as the American Zippos. I wish the author could bring a little bit more diversity into this book with more examples of lighters made by different manufacturers. The photographs are superb and the lighters well displayed.
The layout of the whole publication is simple and beautiful - one picture of a lighter and a short description on each page. The selection of lighters might be a matter of taste but you will find a lot of intriguing examples of lighters and interesting facts. All is presented in full color, nicely detailed and worth having on you coffee table or bathroom.

The book contains an index and a limited bibliography. The book was published in 2003 and is easily available new and used. Overall a great book for every collector of vintage items (not only lighters!).
Rating: Excellent (5/6)