The bidding came via a phone from France and the eventual successful bidder using thesaleroom.com.
Dunhill and Cartier both produced similar lighters although this example – entered by a client who found it in a drawer – had no maker’s mark.
“Thank heavens for the internet,” said auctioneer Dick Ellis. “Thirty years ago the lighter would have been a sleeper that could have gone through 10 auctions before reaching £5000. I admit I hadn’t a clue. And neither did anyone else in the room.”