Scrimshaw Zippo: small carved masterpieces

As promised, today we will talk about in a series of Zippo Scrimshaw. This topic is quite fascinating and unusual. In English the word "Scrimshaw" means - on the shell carving, carving in ivory . Zippo lighters to the surface specially coated thin plates of ivory. Then on these plates was done carving depicting various miniature, as a rule, it had various marine motifs (ships, sea, lighthouses, etc.).

Ivory - a general term precious material used to make jewelry, handicrafts, statues and various luxury items. Of course, as a rule, ivory - it tusks of elephants. But the trend is that the term "ivory" (English ivory) now includes not only the tusks of elephants, but also mammoth tusks, walrus, hippopotamus teeth, bone whale, whale tooth. There is also the so-called vegetable ivory - tagua. Its properties - strength and color - match the properties of natural ivory. However, Tagua - a tropical tree that grows in the Amazon. And in the jewelry used its seeds.

All these materials are a bit similar in properties and appearance, so the ordinary person, not a specialist, to determine the material from which it is made or that product, sometimes hardly possible.

Accordingly, if say, the product is made of ivory - it is not necessarily an elephant tusks, and, for example, whale bone.

In 1976-77 the company has developed a test model of Zippo lighters with the surface of ivory. There were three: Outrigger, Schooner, Whaler.

Before you Outrigger prototype Zippo (Zippo Outrigger), with overlays of this ivory. The reverse side of the same was made of bone, but the images on it was not.

Outrigger - this additional support, which increases the resistance against the boat capsizing.

Zippo Schooner (Zippo Schooner) in 1977 as well with overlays of this ivory:

Today on Ebay Zippo meet with overlays of the tarsus (the bone of cattle). It has no merit "noble" bone, and its main advantage - accessibility, both in quantity and price. Tarsus well polished, very plastic. Lack of it - the ability to quickly turn yellow, so the products of tarsus to bleach. This is the basic material from which at present are handicrafts.

Zippo with overlays of the tarsus are not officially released models Zippo is handmade homemade DIY bone carvers, which, however, has its admirers and fans.

However, it is necessary to distinguish the aforementioned three prototypes from conventional production models Scrimshaw. At the very beginning of his "experiment" Zippo company concluded that the use of this ivory lighter - a very expensive process, and in 1982 introduced a model with Scrimshaw plates made of acrylic. It is from this material today produced covers for Zippo Scrimshaw.

The same subjects in this series are not only lighter, but also Zippo pocket knives. On their arms as well plotted various thumbnails.

Estimated price for these models are usually not much different from that of normal production models Zippo - 25-40 dollars in the U.S., but can reach up to 1-00-250 dollars for some rare species.

Historically, it is the image on the marine theme appear most often on the Zippo scrimshaw, but collectors know of many other kinds of carved figures on lighters, mostly from the world of fauna:

But, as I said earlier, you should distinguish between the production models from three vysheupomyanutymyh prototypes. Zippo with overlays of this ivory are extremely rare, and a collector's price can go up to 1500-2000 dollars.

The article was written using material

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Tags: scrimshaw


  1. Qst (13.04.2010 17:28) ( Reply )

    I had in my 90's with a ship (far left in the photo of the three)
    Months, perhaps two like so, and then they got off pretty easy to trim, yes, indeed, soskolzili with lighters. It has become common.

  2. Merqury (19.04.2010 15:19) ( Reply )

    And here I am, for some reason, do not take any Zippo with overlays ... wants to do "extra" was not. :-) Like when it was metal housing decor was ...

  3. Andrew (14.08.2010 17:20) ( Reply )

    Help with information!
    I got to this lighter-http :/ /
    Trouble-free as a Kalashnikov, but it does not have any markings, whether you have any information on this miracle!
    With Uv.Andrey

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