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Zippo® Metallique Lighters

Metallique appliques were the first method used to decorate Zippo® lighters, 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 - 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 television.

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.
Brushed Chrome
# 311
The Reveler
Brushed Chrome
# 312
Zippo Car
Brushed Chrome
# 313
5 O'clock Club
Brushed Chrome
# 314
World's Fair
Brushed Chrome
# 315
A Week's Trial
Brushed Chrome
# 316

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:

      "Unfortunately, before the decision to cancel the release of the lighters was made, one shipment of the Metalliques was sent to Zippo Canada to fill an order. A currently undetermined quantity of these lighters was sold. We can verify that 61 lighters of the "Windy" design, 53 of "The Reveler", 10 of "The Zippo Car"and 36 of "The 1939 World's Fair" were sold. Zippo has not received any reports of either "The Five O'Clock Club" or "A Weeks Trial" lighters being purchased.

      We at Zippo want to assure our loyal collectors that the mistaken release of these lighters was unintentional and that Zippo had no desire to mislead collectors. We had every intention of releasing the series and regret the manufacturing problems that have prevented the release. We know cancellation of the Metallique release has caused confusion among collectors and our distributors."

                      Pat Grandy
                      Marketing Communications Manager
                      Zippo Manufacturing Company

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:

Larger Emblem
Richer, Deeper Red
Two White Sleeve Cuffs
Belt/Waistband with Dot Buckle
Space between right hand &
head is white Enamel
Smaller Emblem
Lighter, Paler Red
One White Sleeve Cuff
Solid Belt/Waistband
Space between right hand &
head has no enamel

Standard Zippo Metal Tin
with Canadian sleeve


Cardboard Box
with custom
"old-style" lid
(colors vary)
and Zippo
Vintage seal

Lighter Insert:
Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada
Dated as early as Jan. '96
Lighter Insert:
Bradford, PA.
Dated mid-'97 or later
Instruction Insert:
Canada (in French & English)
Instruction Insert:
Japan (in Japanese & English)
Lighter Warning Label:
Bright Orange
wider than US version
in French & English
Lighter Warning Label:

Actual Bradford # 311 Windy

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