ŠAll Photos copyright Lewis Drake and Associates
European flintlock tinder lighter, ca. 1780. Overall length 7”, and height is 3 ½”. Unusual engraved brass body with a hidden compartment on the left side of the action used for storing tinder. There is also a receptacle on the left for a small candle. Once commonplace in every household, the tinder lighter functioned by placing some tinder in the pan beneath the frizzen. When the trigger is pulled the cock drops throwing a shower of sparks into the tinder thus starting a small flame from which the candle is ignited. The lit candle was then used to light fires, stoves, other candles, etc. around the home. Original, decorative, tinder lighters in this condition are quite rare today and fakes are common. This one is absolutely authentic and original, mechanically perfect, nicely embellished, and a very attractive decorator item in addition to being highly collectable.