Zippos Town and Country series was first introduced in 1947-48, and distributed by salesmen to promote the new lighter. This handpainted lighter was not officially available till 1949. Originally , there were 8 models. Mallard, Trout, English Setter, Horse, Pheasant, Geese, Lily Pad, and Sloop (sailboat).
In 1951, ZIPPO had dropped the Lily Pad, and the Geese from the original 8, and offered only 6 models till 1953, when they introduced the Sailfish.
By 1958 there were only 3 models available,Trout, Mallard, and Pheasant.
They still used a paint on paint process for other years on advertizing lighters, but the true Town & Country models were dropped in 1960
They came in a special silk lined box,to protect the hand painted finish .
These boxes started out with a leather looking material. Later, the boxes had a woodgrain look.
The early lighters were first deep etched,the artists would then apply multiple layers of airbrushed, acrylic enamel paint. Each one was different due to multiple artists doing the work. These early lighters are extremely rare in mint condition.
This is an original 1949 Town & Country (T&C) Pheasant in its original, and extremely rare first box. This first box has no trademark symbol as well as having a more leather look to it, compared to the woodgrain box used later.
Zippo also produced lighters from a Canadian plant that opened in 1949.
The Niagara Falls plant was officially closed in 2002.
The Canadian version for the most part was exactly the same as the US counterpart with a few differences.
The Base stamps were different, as well as the product line,
which was geared more towards the Canadian market.
The Hockey player, Snowmobiler, and Curler are three examples that come to mind.
This one is a late 50s horse. Very rare, especially in new condition like this.
This same version was also made at the Bradford plant in the early 50s .
One could argue that this is a "etch & paint" model, not a town and Country.
Dating The Canadian models is far more complex than the ones made in the USA .
I have dated this one to 1958. Packaging for them was also different.
This is a very rare example of a Town & Country lighter. Manufactured prior to the official release of the T & C lighters. It was made during the change-over period, where ZIPPO was still using up old stock of nickel silver. The lid of this lighter is still made from Nickel silver, but the case is made from brass. It has the original 3 barrel hinge and has a shorter case, compared to the 46-47 model. These early models were handed out to salesman, to promote the all new Town & Country series lighters. It has been gently used, but it's still a stunning lighter.
The GEESE, as well as Dragon-fly/Lily Pad design were discontinued in 1951.
1948 T&C Geese
Discontinued by 1951
The first T&C box.
It had a leather look to it.
The second style has a woodgrain look to it.
The lighter was held in a felt mount & the lid was satin.
The third box is similar to the 2nd style, but the addition of the registered "R" was added from
This 1953 Sailfish (Marlin) was added to the Town & Country line-up in 1953 then dropped by 1958.
This is one of the more rare TRUE Town& Country models.
By 1958-59, the Mallard, Trout, and Pheasant, were the only 3 styles still available from the Original 8.
This one, is what I call a HYBRID.
It was made at the same time as ZIPPO was beginning to use the the new Pat. Pend info on them. The case uses the older Pat. # 2032695 as in 52- early 53, but has the newer insert with Pat # 2517191, & the Pat. Pend. stamp that was introduced mid year.
It is not uncommon to see this combination during 1953
This SETTER comes in its original T&C box.
A Note On Town & Country Lighters
The purist collector knows that Town Country lighters are more that just the theme.
The true Town and Country lighters can be identified by the process of paint that is applied to the lighter. There are examples of Town and Country themes, such as the Sailboat (Sloop) that are true T&Cs and there are others with the same theme that use the Etch & Paint process.(completely different) Etch & Paint was a way to produce these very popular designs in a way that could be both mass produced, and more economical.
The two processes are completely different. A real T&C has the entire area deeply etched out of the lighters face by machine, then (one of many) airbrush artists would hand paint each one layer by layer until the painted area becomes almost level with the lighters original surface. Every one slightly different due to many artists painting the same design.
The Etch and Paint lighters on the other hand were engraved by machine, then the color filled using painting plates for each color.
The True T&C has a much greater value than the Etch & Paint lighter with the same design.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, as there are models that use a combination of both processes using both paint types.
Some Naval themed lighters use both "Etch & Paint" as well as Airbrushing.
Here is an example of one in my collection where the GE logo is airbrushed. . .
This photo shows the Pheasant prior to paint.
Notice how deep the engraving is in order to accept many layers of enamel paint.
Note: this is shown for example only and not one in my collection
The Original 8 Town & Country Series lighters. Mallard, Trout, Setter, Horse, Pheasant, Geese, Lily Pond, & Sloop.
The Town & Country series is one of the most sought after models made.
1948-49 Lily Pond
Discontinued by 1951
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