LuminousWhatnots

Vintage Lighters, Photography & Artful Curiosities

Maryland, United States · 2249 Sales

LuminousWhatnots

Vintage Lighters, Photography & Artful Curiosities

Maryland, United States 2249 Sales On Etsy since 2011

5 out of 5 stars
(617)

Announcement   I began collecting and restoring vintage cigarette lighters over 20 years ago and also enjoy photography, mixed media painting and dabble in a myriad of other mediums. As an artisan and collector, I take great care to provide quality lighters, complete with clear photos and researched descriptions for each piece.

I personally test and service each lighter in my shop. Most will make great lighters for regular use, some are display pieces for collectors, many fall into both categories. Every lighter's description details its cosmetic and mechanical condition, including an explanation of any service it received.

Thanks for taking a look around my shop!

Announcement
Last updated on Apr 3, 2016

I began collecting and restoring vintage cigarette lighters over 20 years ago and also enjoy photography, mixed media painting and dabble in a myriad of other mediums. As an artisan and collector, I take great care to provide quality lighters, complete with clear photos and researched descriptions for each piece.

I personally test and service each lighter in my shop. Most will make great lighters for regular use, some are display pieces for collectors, many fall into both categories. Every lighter's description details its cosmetic and mechanical condition, including an explanation of any service it received.

Thanks for taking a look around my shop!

Eldon Baldwin

Contact shop owner

Eldon Baldwin

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(617)
View all 617 reviews

About

Lumious Whatnots

I found my first vintage lighter at a flea market when I was 16, a sterling silver arm lift lighter made in Mexico during the 1940s about the size of a half dollar. Up to that point, I'd only been exposed to Bics and Zippos and the idea that a cigarette lighter could be anything beyond a utilitarian means of lighting a smoke was a revelation. I fell in love with the uniqueness of the lift arm design. Its craftsmanship and durability was in stark contrast to the disposable and generic flip-top lighters sold in most convenience stores. That little silver lift arm was a work of art to me, a memento of a time in history when quality, elegant design, and affordable cost were not mutually exclusive concepts. It set me on a path of seeking lighters everywhere: at local flea markets, antique shops, thrift stores, et al. This before was the internet and I didn't know books about vintage lighters even existed. So for me, every lighter was a new discovery.

Coming to the hobby as a young smoker, of course I wanted to use my new acquisitions and I've been learning to fix lighters as long as I've been collecting them. At the same time, my interest in art was just beginning and I was experimenting with mixed media painting and sculpture. I learned the basics of B&W photography a few years later in college. In retrospect, I realize these parallel interests have followed me into adulthood and converged.

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  • Eldon Baldwin

    Owner, Photographer

Shop policies

Last updated on April 12, 2015
I bought my first vintage lighter when I was 16, a sterling silver arm lift lighter from the 1940s, about the size of a half dollar. Having only been exposed to Bics and Zippos, I fell in love with the uniqueness of its shape. Its craftsmanship and durability was in stark contrast to the disposable lighters I was accustom to. To me -- that little arm lift is a work of art, a memento of a time in our culture's history when quality and cost were not mutually exclusive concepts, a mute traveller that never speaks of the hands it has passed through. To me, vintage lighters hold a deeper substance that a means to light a cigarette. But if you are going to light one up, it's a lot more fun with a unique vintage lighter.

Though I haven't counted in many years, I'm sure I've amassed a collection of thousands of lighters over the last two decades. Some are near and dear and I'll never part with them, like that tiny silver arm lift. Others, like the ones I'm offering here on Etsy, are ones I've decided it is time to part company with. Much like kittens, I simply can't keep all of them - no matter how endearing they may be.

I take care to write detailed descriptions for each lighter to share its history, explain how it works, and describe its condition honestly. I personally disassemble their firing mechanisms, hand clean parts, clear blocked flint tubes, re-wick and repack them as necessary, and do whatever is need to restore each to working order. Many pieces will make great carry-around lighters for regular use, others are only collectibles for display, a good number fall into both categories. Once serviced, I strive to clearly describe the working condition of every piece to ensure it meets your expectations.

Please understand the time I spend to ensure the quality of each lighter as an element of its cost. Over the years, I've bought countless lighters advertised as "probably works" or "just needs flint and fluid", only to discover it required much more substantial repair or, even worse, could not be fixed at all. As an artisan and serious collector, I take great care to provide quality lighters, clear photos, and researched factual descriptions of each piece.

I also enjoy photography, abstract painting and a myriad of other craft-related, creative outlets. That's the best introduction I can muster for my FRANKENLIGHTER Series. These are literally one-of-a-kind lighters I've created using restored/working vintage lighter mechanisms combined with found items, my own artwork, and/or whatever else inspiration brings. Each of my "monsters" is unique -- an original, handcrafted functional art piece.

Accepted payment methods

  • Accepts Etsy gift cards
Shipping
I OFFER FREE SHIPPING IF YOU BUY MORE THAN ONE ITEM FROM MY SHOP (U.S. customers only). This is my year-round store policy, not a temporary gimmick. You'll be charged shipping during check out, then I refund the cost back to you before your item ship. I don't think there's a way for me to set-up "conditional" free shipping, so I handle it this way. Please contact me if this approach causes a problem, I'm sure I can figure out a workable solution. I also offer free local pick-up from my shop on Antique Row in Baltimore.

All posted shipping prices are for U.S. delivery by insured USPS Priority Mail in either a small ($5.35) or medium ($12.35) flat rate box. I've run a mail order company for over a decade and learned through experience the post office handles Priority Mail packages with MUCH greater care than 1st class, parcel post, and 4th class mail packages. I hope you'll agree its worth investing a couple extra dollars to ensure your irreplaceable item(s) arrive promptly and in good condition. I only charge the cost for postage - no handling fees and free insurance.
Refunds and Exchanges
I offer a 7-Day Moneyback guarantee for all items I sell - excluding original artwork. You will be reimbursed your purchase price (excluding shipping) if returned within 7 days of delivery, provided I receive the item undamaged and in as-shipped condition. Buyer is responsible for return shipping cost. Of course I want to avoid this situation entirely, so please feel free to ask questions before buying.
Additional policies and FAQs
I do offer repair services. Please contact me for more information.

If you are a collector or interest to learn more about vintage lighters, check out the Luminious Whatnots page on Facebook. I post links to interesting lighter-related articles/websites here and instant updates from my Etsy shop. Here's a cut-and-paste direct link: https://www.facebook.com/LuminiousWhatnots

I'm slowly but surely photographing my personal lighter collection. If you're interested, you can take a look at them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/therepository/collections/72157626134216021/