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Label

This classically inspired lamp represents state-of-the-art lighting technology in late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century America. The urn-shaped body serves as the oil reservoir that feeds a tubular wick held between two concentric metal tubes. The patented design by inventor François-Pierre Aimé Argand dramatically improved airflow and produced a bright flame equal to ten candles. Impressed with their performance, George Washington purchased well over a dozen Argand-type lamps for the presidential mansion.

See also Argand lamp, W-2138/B.1-B.3.

Description

A1:
Urn-shaped Argand-type lamp font with a fluted bowl, Greek-key ornamented shoulder, and enclosed top; two holes are drilled into the top: one for the lever arm and another for the central burner; the font is set upon a hollow, flared, and pierced base.

A2:
Copper and tin-coated brass tube; horizontal arm extends from the enclosed lip; lower portion of tube features a vertical gap running its length, an iron ring is soldered into the interior of the butt end.

A3:
Circular brass ring riveted to a pierced collar; two short brass shoulders cradle a cylindrical glass chimney.

Date

1790-1810


Geography


Material/Technique

Brass, tin, copper, iron, glass


Dimensions

Other (Lamp H x W x D): 4 7/8 in. x 3 11/16 in. x 3 11/16 in. (12.38 cm x 9.37 cm x 9.37 cm)
Other (Chimney and collar, H x W x D): 5 1/16 in. x 2 15/16 in. x 2 15/16 in. (12.86 cm x 7.46 cm x 7.46 cm)


Credit Line

Purchase, 1956


Object Number

W-2138/A


Colors (Beta)


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