Glass enclosed lanterns with ornate housings provided the ideal means for lighting drafty passages in eighteenth-century homes. In 1760, George Washington ordered "1 handsome glass Lanthorne for Passage - wt. Lamps & 10 Gals. Oyl" from his London factors. Though the Chippendale style of the lantern he received in 1761 had become outmoded by the 1780s, the lantern remained in the central passage at Mount Vernon until Washington's death. Each time Washington updated the finish and furnishings of the room, the lantern received a new coat of paint, changing from black to Prussian blue in 1783, and returning to black in the 1790s. More


c. 1760-1761




Tinned sheet iron, brass, paint, glass


Overall: 18 in. x 12 in. x 12 in. (45.72 cm x 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm)


Gift of Miss Mary Custis Lee, 1915

Object Number



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