About the object
A Victorian anthropomorphic table cigar lighter, modelled as a seated terrier with large collar below his detachable head. The dog is smoking a pipe and is flanked by a Georgian style mug and a battered top hat.
The silver is hallmarked for London 1880 and bears the maker's mark of Robert Hennell & Sons. It is also struck with a Patent Office design mark registered on 7th December 1877.
It is probably that the piece was retailed by Hancocks. The whole piece is mounted on an oval, green marble base.
The lighter was filled with methylated spirits, by removing the dog's head. A wick runs from the dog's pipe into the main body and fluid is drawn upwards by capillary action.
The battered hat would have held the vestas (matches) to light the wick and the tankard used for wooden spills with which to light the cigars.
Such pieces were common on the tables of wealthy Victorian families, gentleman's clubs and Regimental Messes.