19th c. lamps.

palimpsestJanuary 13, 2011

This pair of lamps. What are your thoughts about era? What would you expect them to fetch at auction?

Would you electrify these (in some non-destructive way like French-wiring?) if you lived in a 19th c. house?

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Not sure what they burn....nor what the material of the lamp is...nor big they are....nor if the burners are functional.
All those things would color my thoughts.
Linda c

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 10:29AM
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Great lamps! Were they originally gas & what are they made of? Do they have a place for a gas hose or did they use an earlier energy source? Pot metal was used for many earlier gas fixtures (at least in the US) until they became popular & brass became the the standard - or maybe it was just an economic choice. The hanging hall fixture in my 1858 house was pot metal but the gas arms mounted on the walls were brass. I have a book at home about gas lighting & I'll check it tonight for something similar. What is 'French wiring'?

Sorry, but I can't help you with auction value although since I would like to have them, the price will automatically jump to sky high, LOL!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 10:54AM
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They are Argands, I know that by the higher reservoir,and looking at pictures-- they burnt oil, (maybe even whale oil at first?) I think they are about 16" high.

French Wiring is where the wiring goes to the socket but is not routed through the lamp, so no drilling through original material, The wiring shows but this can be kinda interesting.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 11:04AM
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Interesting about the French Wiring - I once electrified an old ship's light like that but never knew it had a name.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 11:43AM
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I have my great grandmother's oil lamps that I have "French wired"....didn't know there was a word for it.
You still have nots aid what the lamps are made of....I will assume brass.
Do you have the shades? Or can you find suitable shades? If I could find suitable globes I would definietly do a non destructive wiring and use them.
They most likely date from the early years of the 19th century....can we say maybe 1820?
Great lamps!
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 12:21PM
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Check this out. They've been electrified but seem similar although I haven't looked at them side-by-side.

Here is a link that might be useful: A similar? pair

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 12:52PM
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On an enlarged photo, they're not as nice looking as yours. Sorry.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 12:58PM
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I think the ones you posted are pretty handsome.

Well, I got my answer re: what they would fetch at auction. They went for $1100.

I was hoping for less since they were at a Modernist auction.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 8:55AM
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$1100 the pair?? Sounds like a good deal to me

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 9:43AM
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I am sure it was a good deal, but these were in a no reserve auction at a Modernist Auction house, who had estimated them low. I had some idea what the ones with shades went for, and I wondered if that was the difference. I was just hoping these had the wrong audience.

The few other early period lots went for well under estimate, while the Modernist pieces sold well. The other thing I was interested in, a Womb Chair, went over estimate. It unfortunately (for me) commanded the 5th highest price for a single piece of furniture in the auction.

What made you change your mind Linda? You wouldn't venture an opinion at all before, why do they seem like a good deal now? :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 10:42AM
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Because I spent some time looking around the web seeing what similar lamps sold for.;-D
They likely should have brought 3 times that amount....unless there was some "issue" with them that wasn't noted.
And at the time of my first post I didn't know what kind of a burner they had...aladdin type, whale oil, gas or argon. But, I guess I should have had a hint from the font.
Very nice lamps....I can see them on either of a hunt board.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:12AM
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