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Gorham Copper with Silver Mounts Cigar Lighter Model Y60

Gorham Copper with Silver Mounts Cigar Lighter Model Y60
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This item is currently being auctioned

In his foundational work Gorham Silver, Charles Carpenter indicates that Gorham introduced its line of copper wares in 1881, with "most pieces . . . made in the 1881-1885 period."

This 4 1/2" long by 2 1/4" high cigar lighter actually bears a date mark for 1888 on the underside, along with the model number "Y20," "Gorham & Co.," and a single "anchor."

This has a dragon handle, bronze spout and cap through which a wick feeds, and solid silver scenic applique on two sides.

The imagery portrayed varies from piece to piece, even on the same model, and the themes on this are particularly imaginative.

They feature two water buffaloes or bulls and a tree on one wall, and two dogs and a single water buffalo or bull on the other.

The surface of these copper pieces is a very important aspect of their appeal. Carpenter notes they are polished and "range in color from warm reds to tans to deep chocolate browns.

He further notes, "Although these glazed copper finishes are quite durable, they cannot survive rough scouring or the use of a buffing wheel. The best method of cleaning these glazed copper pieces is with mild soap and warm water."

This item has the advantage of retaining its original finish (over-polished examples often take on a pink hue and lose their surface texture), and has only been washed to freshen its formerly dirtied surface. The silver has been gently polished.

In very good condition, there are two slightly flattened and discolored spots on the body and one of the buffaloes is a bit pushed in. Complete with its original chain that attaches the lid and wick cap, it is missing the original fitting for threading the wick through the spout.

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