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Ronson's Crown Jewels

by Larry Tolkin

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Literpact PatentRonson's Crown JewelsRonson was the most important designer of lighters manufactured during the 1925-1950 art deco modern period. Louis V. Aronson built his business on offering customers and buyers a wide assortment of choices in fashion smoking merchandise.

During the art deco period Ronson manufactured numerous mechanisms to match every conceivable type of combination and modernistic design. "You name it, Ronson designed and made it". Lighters came in: 14k Gold, sterling silver, guilloche enamel, automatic wand touchtips, figural strikers, pipe and cigar lighters, pocket models of every size and shape, cigarette case combinations, streamline airflow design, skyscraper, catalin and Lucite as added materials, walking sticks, watch and clock Ronson's Crown Jewelsversions, vanity compacts, novelty sports figures, cigarette boxes and dispensers, pen trays and holders, figural animals, and much more.

Ronson's Crown JewelsWithin this vast assortment some of the most vibrant and special lighters are those that have added jeweled appliqués. These colorful fashion additions were made of marcasites or colored rhinestones which enhanced the beauty of the design. Jeweled appliqué lighters were sold to women smokers and manufactured on a handful of models.

Ronson's Crown JewelsRonson jeweled appliqués are mostly found on the Literpact Vanity Compact model of 1935 - see photo and design patent. The Masterpact, also a vanity compact model, has a few jeweled versions. Rarer are the Queencase versions shown in dureum plate.Ronson's Crown Jewels Also shown is a colorful gold plate Gem with lavender enamel and double appliqué design.

My favorite is the figural enamel heart with its heart shape appliqué. In the 1950's Ronson utilized the Gem model by adding jeweled appliqué design.

Ronson jeweled lighters are the "Royalty" of deco enamel lighters.

Photos by Larry Tolkin

Ronson's Crown Jewels Ronson's Crown Jewels Ronson's Crown Jewels
Ronson's Crown Jewels Ronson's Crown Jewels

cover shot of Blaze newsletter

Larry Tolkin's article has also appeared in Issue 124 May, 2011 of BLAZE - the quarterly newsletter of The Lighter Club of Great Britain -

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