Anthropomorphic primates of the type and date represented by those in this lot refer to Charles Darwin’s provocative and often lampooned On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first published in 1859. The controversy aroused by the book was still alive in the 1870s. In May 1874 The London Sketch Book, a short-lived illustrated magazine, published a caricature by ‘Faustin’ (Faustin Betbeder) of an monkey-like Darwin holding a hand mirror up to the face of his companion, an actual monkey. The latter’s head and features are uncannily like those depicted by this unusual lighter. For further comment on this subject, see Sotheby’s, London, 5 March 2014, lot 48, a silver sugar caster in the form of a gorilla with broken rifle, Thomas William Dee & Sons, London, 1861.