This sleek "patent lamp" was at the forefront of style as well as lighting and manufacturing technologies when Gouverneur Morris purchased fourteen of them at George Washington's request while in London in 1790. A single piece of fused silverplate forms its classically inspired, urn-shaped body, which serves as the oil reservoir. The drop burner employs a tubular wick held between two concentric metal tubes with a glass chimney above. Genovese inventor François-Pierre Aimé Argand (1750-1803) revolutionized lighting with this deceptively simple innovation. His patented design dramatically improved airflow, thereby producing a brighter flame that burned longer and produced less smoke than earlier oil lamps and candles. More

Date

1790


Geography

  • Probably retailed - England
  • Probably made - England

Material/Technique

A-C: Fused silverplate on copper and brass, base metals, iron, glass A: Fused silverplate on copper and brass, base metals B: Fused silverplate on copper and brass, base metals, iron C: Fused silverplate on copper and brass


Dimensions

Other (A): 6 3/16 in. x 9 7/16 in. x 4 1/4 in. (15.72 cm x 23.97 cm x 10.8 cm)
Other (B): 4 1/8 in. x 3 1/2 in. x 3 1/2 in. (10.48 cm x 8.89 cm x 8.89 cm)
Other (C): 5 3/4 in. x 2 1/16 in. x 2 1/16 in. (14.61 cm x 5.24 cm x 5.24 cm)


Credit

Bequest of John Parke Custis Upshur, 1952


Object Number

W-1871/A-C


Colors


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