Okay, there aren't too many World War 1 films, so I'm not sure if it's really a prop but, I wanted to show it off and I couldn't think of anywhere better. Plus, I'm a bit cloudy on it's origins and age, so I thought I'd see if anybody here had any idea.
I aquired this on Ebay last week and it just arrived a few days ago.
I'm going to say, judging by the amout of corrosion present, that it's pretty darn old. I had to scrape corrosion out from under the striker wheel to free up the spring mechanism and allow for the insertion of a piece of flint. Also, you can see that it uses an older type of gasket material to seal the filler hole at the bottom. It's looks to me like a type of felt but, I'm not as knowledgable on older things as I'd like to be yet.
The only real clue is the tiny "Japan" stamped on the spine of the outer sleeve. I had discussed this with a friend soon after it arrived. He believed that, based on the stamp, it was a reproduction from after the occupation of Japan in the late 40's. He reasoned that Japan didn't call itself "Japan" or use english lettering until then.
Of coarse, I didn't buy that at all and with a little research found that Japan had entered WW1 on the side of Great Britain and that they had shared quite a bit of technology and such during their period of alliance. So, my theory is that it's a genuine vintage piece from the war, created in Japan and based on the generic British trench lighter design.
Still, I'm not at all sure. It looks old to me, it has the potential to be old but, I don't know.
If anybody here has any theories or information, please feel free to share.
Oh yes, it also still works.