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Congressional Jewels

Vintage Penguin standing tabletop cigarette lighter with cameos and little cherubs

Penguin standing lighter

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This is a standing lighter in gold tone base metal with lots of ebullient floral filigree decoration and borders of hearts carved into the edges of both base and lighter section base. There are two cameos covered in glass set with filigree prongs. I think it is glass--if I tap my fingernail on it, it sounds like it, but I cannot be one hundred percent sure. There are some inclusions under the surfaces on the cameos and some dried glue visible under the surface around the areas of the heads if you examine them with a loupe. Also some darkness to the chin on one of the women's heads (photo 3), but it is underneath the surface, so presumably was that way since the beginning. The glass (?) has beveled edges around the oval borders under the prongs, which refracts the light in purple and green colors. There are two cherubs, one on each side of the central pillar. Stamped "Penguin" on one side of the lighter mechanism section; the letter "A" is stamped inside a circle on the opposite side in corresponding position. Stamped "Japan" on the underside of the removable lighter portion. Measures 5" high and 2.75" wide at the widest points. The cameos are 1" x .75" and the cherubs measure 1.5" x 1". The design is the identical on both sides, so this can be viewed from any side--there is no front and back, so to speak. The lighter is not working at the moment; I am not expert in how these work, but it probably needs a refill of whatever fuel would be appropriate to this kind of lighter. The lighter mechanism does open when pressed (photo 8), and the screw underneath screws on and off correctly. Nice heavy weight of metal, and really ornate decoration. Some small marks and wear to the metal throughout commensurate with age and use. Overall in very good pre-owned condition, flaws as noted. I have no idea how old this is, but it is a very beautiful and unusual piece. I took one of the photos in dimmed lighting to show how lovely this would look on a dining room table or on display in general.




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