Sunday, 12 January 2014


This is the answer to Friday's 'Mystery Object' question. When the smaller left hand button is pressed, the case springs open (rather like a hunter watch). Inside is a small, but very effective snaphaunce  tinder lighter. When the cock gripping a flake of flint in its jaws is pulled back, the action cocks. Then the larger button to the right is pressed, and it acts as a trigger, the cock falls and the flint strikes a spark against the steel to the left of the picture. This lights the tinder, which in turn can be used to light a fire. The fabric and iron outer case was made as an en suite accessory to one of those strange Japanese quilted armours. It's a surprisingly complete survival.  I must record that between you, you got it almost completely right. Crowbard spotted its purpose, Kippy and Maggie got the date right as eighteenth century. Well done, all of you.


Crowbard said...

You're such a blokey bloke Mike; I love all the technical & mechanical stuff you've depicted but could we also see a snap of the exterior of that fabulous antique fabric, both laid out flat and folded to enclose the metal gubbins. After all, it is what makes it the rarest known specimen.
PS. I still retain a slight suspicion it may be slightly earlier than you think, but as always I defer to your broader, longer and superior experience in such matters.

Pat said...

Just as well I missed this one.