Dunhill Aquarium
by Stephen Garner

Dunhill has launched a new limited-edition capsule featuring hand-painted prints inspired by iconic Aquarium lighters from the Dunhill archive.

Originally launched in 1949, no two Aquarium lighters were the same. Each and every piece was uniquely handmade and assembled from four panels of Perspex, meticulously carved with nature-inspired motifs on the inside and then hand-painted – a highly skilled technique known as reverse intaglio. The name Aquarium was derived from the light reflecting properties of the Perspex, holding a beam of light within its surfaces and carrying it around bends and corners, giving the appearance of a large fish tank.

For summer 2019, the intricate Aquarium illustrations of birds and fish have been reimagined on patterned lounge shirts, reversible bombers, swim shorts, nylon drawstring backpacks, belt bags, leather goods and slip-on sneakers, in three summer-inspired colors: sunset, blue skies, and sea green.

Dunhill Aquarium

“I always consider what can be revisited from the Dunhill archive, to be re-contextualized, evolved and how we inform our audience,” said Mark Weston, creative director of Dunhill. “With Aquarium, it’s all there; there’s a tension, something traditional and immediate but also kind of risqué and humorous too. To me that’s so British.”

The Aquarium lighters will also be reissued using the same hand-carved and hand-painted techniques, the Perspex applied to a signature Turbo lighter consisting of 102 engineered components and finished in palladium or 18 carat gold plating.

A limited edition run of 15 lighters have been created per color, each piece engraved and individually numbered. Prices range from: $255 to $11,900.