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.