1174

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana

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New York

Classical Gilt Bronze and Cut Glass Astral Lamp, Thomas Messenger & Sons and Cornelius and Co., Birmingham, England and Philadelphia, Circa 1845
signed on iron plate inside of base, MESSENGER; bears a brass label inscribed, CORNELIUS & CO. / PHILA. / JULY 24TH. 1849 / PATENT / APRIL 1ST 1845; appears to retain the original glass shade and chimney; electrified.
Height overall 34 1/4 in.
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Provenance

Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York.

Catalogue Note

This lamp represents the rare combination of a discreetly marked imported element and one that was manufactured and labeled by an American firm. The base of the lamp was made by the distinguished metalworking firm of Thomas Messenger & Sons, who were active from 1797 to 1920, and it is marked by them on the iron weight housed within the square base. An identical base appears in a trade catalogue in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, where it is shown with a circular Argand burner (a copy of the page from that catalogue accompanies the lamp). The four beautifully-detailed baskets of flowers that ornament the square urn below the stem and above the base are also seen on various Messenger Argand lamps that have appeared, including a pair of double Argand lamps marked by the retailer Baldwin Gardiner (private collection; formerly collection of Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, FAPG 19190D.001, .002; photograph in Hirschl & Adler archives).

This imported base, qualitatively beyond anything that was being produced in America at the time, was then subsequently supplied by the Philadelphia firm of Cornelius & Company with a "modern" solar burner, which bears patent dates of both 1845 and 1849, suggesting a date for the lamp of "after 1849."

The lamp was supplied by the Cornelius firm with a typical round globe, which may have been produced locally in Philadelphia, or acquired from such leading firms as the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, with offices in Boston, Massachusetts, or the New England Glass Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Important Americana

|
New York