Metallique appliques were the first method used to decorate Zippo®
starting in 1934. Essentially metal lace, metalliques were painstakingly applied
and color-filled by hand to create a unqiuely beautiful decoration of great delicacy.
As part of its 65th Anniversary celebration in 1997, Zippo announced the reintroduction of the
distinctive look of the metallique with six designs on Zippo vintage-style
lighters, all priced at $39.95.
Three were reproductions of original metallique designs from the 1930's; three were new
designs inspired by historic Zippo icons:
Windy was the first of the "Windproof Beauties" who demonstrated
the reliability of the Zippo lighter in national advertisements of the 1930's.
She has since been commemorated on a Limited Edition Collectible (1993) and
was the inspiration for 1996's Zippo Salutes Pinup Girls.
The Reveler -
This was one of the very first metallique designs offered by Zippo.
In 1934 a new Zippo lighter adorned with "The Reveler" at his lamppost cost $2.75.
The design was available through the late 1940's. The Reveler was available during
1998-2000 on an Antique Silver Plate
lighter, using Zippo's reverse etch decoration method.
Zippo Car -
Zippo celebrated the 50th anniversary of the
Zippo Car with
this classic design. The custom-built 1947 Chrysler Saratoga featured two giant
lighters with neon flames. The car led parades and lent glamour to special
events accross the country. It disappeared under mysterious circumstances
during the 1960's. The Zippo Car was also showcased as the
1998 Limited Edition Collectible of the Year.
5 O'clock Club -
There is some question as to whether The 5 O'clock Club
existed as a real night spot, or whether the intriguing logo is simply an
admirable example of both Art Deco design and metallique artistry. The exuberant
rooster seems to imply that the festivities will last 'til dawn.
World's Fair -
The 1939 New York World's Fair took "The World of
Tommorrow" as its theme. This original design features architecture of the
Trylon and Perisphere. Among the exhibits of future wonders were
scientifically planned cities, and a large box with a small screen called
A Week's Trial -
This design was adapted from the original packaging
for the Zippo windproof lighter. "A Week's Trial - Then All The While" reflected
George Blaisdell's confidence that once tried, the Zippo would prove its merit
to the user. His confidence has been amply repaid by the continued, fierce
loyalty of Zippo users for almost 68 years.
|5 O'clock Club
||A Week's Trial
Early interest in these new releases was phenomenal and initial indications were that they
could be even more popular than the 1932/1933 Replicas or the Collectible of the Year models.
But the days went by, and the weeks went by, and the months went by, and still no Metalliques.
Not only were these in-demand models not shipping but orders for them, even on a "when released" basis,
were simply not being accepted by Zippo in any size, shape or form.
And then the news started filtering out of Bradford, PA. Manufacturing difficulties were encountered
in reproducing this very intricate type of design for the 1997 series. After inspecting the
1997 Metallique series, Zippo quality control officials decided to cancel the release. They felt
strongly that the appearance of the designs compromised the overall quality of the lighters
which Zippo collectors around the world had come to expect.
After the announcement of the cancellation, however, Zippo received a flood of
inquiries from distributors, dealers and collectors alike. Zippo then issued a
statement which included the following details:
That might have been the end of the story. Except for the fact that many
collectors insisted they had already seen or purchased Metallique-style lighters,
including "The Five O'Clock Club and "A Week's Trial".
More phone calls to Zippo revealed
that Metallique-style lighters were in production, but NOT at Zippo Manufacturing Co. in Bradford.
Zippo itself had given the OK for a distributor in Japan to produce and distribute metallique emblem
lighters based on designs originally produced by Zippo.
This was not a case of Zippo simply sending unused Bradford metallique emblems to Japan
for attachment to blank lighters; the permission given was for a "start from scratch"
production. The resulting confusion was understandable.
But it didn't take long for savvy collectors to zero in on pronounced differences between the
Bradford, PA-produced Metalliques that were released in error by Zippo Canada and the Japanese replicas. These
variations serve to make identification of the origin of any contemporary Metallique Zippo
lighter fairly straight-forward.
The following is a side-by-side comparison of some of the differences on just one model - Windy:
|BRADFORD METALLIQUE||JAPANESE REPLICA
Richer, Deeper Red
Two White Sleeve Cuffs
Belt/Waistband with Dot Buckle
Space between right hand &
head is white Enamel
Lighter, Paler Red
One White Sleeve Cuff
Space between right hand &
head has no enamel
Standard Zippo Metal Tin
with Canadian sleeve
Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada
Dated as early as Jan. '96
Dated mid-'97 or later
Canada (in French & English)
Japan (in Japanese & English)
|Lighter Warning Label:|
wider than US version
in French & English
|Lighter Warning Label: