Art Deco pocket lighter - £5200 at Amersham Auction Rooms.

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The bidding came via a phone from France and the eventual successful bidder using

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.”