Silver ball with flame top

Hi Guys
I have just joined your forum, I live in New Zealand my wife and I are Antique and Collectables Dealers.

Some time back we found this piece of silver in the shape of a ball with a screw in top made to look like a flame, which has a hole in the top, I think something is missing from here, it also has three small balls as feet to stand on.

It is 4 inches high over all and 2.5 inches in diameter on the base is a hallmark for Chester the date letter is for 1901 and the makers mark S.I.Ld also the name Hardy Bros Sydney & Brisbane. Sadly this piece has some damage.

I have more photos if needed.

Can anyone help with an ID for what this is and what was it used for.

regards Bostock

PS well done on a Great forum best of luck.
Silver ball 4.jpg
Silver ball 1.jpg

Hi Bostock, and thanks for joining us on silver-collector. Its always nice to meet collectors of silverware from around the World…

Your item is called a ‘bomb’ table lighter, used to light cigars. The wick would come out of the hole in the flame, and the body would hold the remaining wick and lighter fluid.

You are correct on the date of the piece, and the makers mark is that of Stokes and Ireland Ltd.

Hope that helps, and I look forward to seeing you around the forum.

Kindest regards

Hi Daniel
Thank you for your help, I had an idea that it could have been something of this type. You are able to give a maker from the makers mark, is there a book of makers marks for silver and silver plate, I have a 1984 copy of Bradbury’s Hallmarks which gives some makers for old plate, I would like to know who the Silversmiths are eg I have two Georgian silver spoons the makers mark is W.S .

Regards Bostock.

Hi again Bostock,
There are a number of books detailing makers marks, but the best one to start with is probably Jacksons ‘English Goldsmiths and their marks’, which has good accounts of a number of towns, and also some provincial makers marks as well.

Hope that helps

Sight correction to one of the prior posts.

This is a “grenage lighter” not a “bomb”. It was common for british military officers to give and receive these cigar lighters as gifts for a variety of occassions. All the examples I have seen previously are round, are weighted, and have the flame top. Apparently yours has three ball feet to keep it from rolling, instead of being weighted.

I hope this information helps.


A little typographical error above.



Hi Fran
Many thanks for your update on my piece of silver,would it be worth repairing