"On the shelf itself there stood a Primus stove"

The quote continues: "A Primus is a little camping-stove that you fill with paraffin and you light it at the top and then you pump it to get pressure for the flame."

A primus stove is a portable cooking stove which is meant to be light and easy to move (great for camping, picnicking, and catering). Primus stoves were one of the first models of portable stove. They were typically made of brass. Original models allowed you to control the level of the flame with a pump, while later versions have a separate valve.