This 1935 Negbaur US cigarette lighter with an enamelled dome, valued at £150, is from Peter Brooks’ private collection.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

In 2011 Channel 4 commissioned actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry to choose and present his favourite gadgets. A big gizmo fan, he picked the cigarette lighter as the greatest-ever gadget, saying: “My number one is this: fire with a flick of the fingers.”

Members of the Lighter Club of Great Britain would probably agree with Fry’s sparky choice. Many of the club’s dealers and collectors in vintage lighters will be stalling out at the upcoming members’ fair on Sunday, October 22, at the Holiday Inn in Hemel Hempstead.

It is organised by collector Peter Brooks, chair of the club and a fan of watch lighters, who said: “Members collect and deal in vintage petrol lighters with the most sought after being those with unusual mechanisms, others incorporating watches, decorated enamel lighters and models made of gold or silver.”

Brooks added: “Vintage lighters are still very affordable, with the more common chrome or silver plated Dunhill models starting at around £50, but there will be plenty of lighters for less than that as well those in hundreds and into the thousands at the fair.”

The event is open to non-members from 11am for a £5 entry fee.