Not a lamp...what is this?

dreamgoddessFebruary 3, 2012

I bought this in an antique shop today and have no clue what it really is.

I know it's not a lamp, but what is it? There is a two-piece gold tube and the top gold piece slips off. There is a long spring that goes inside the tube.

Anyone have any idea what it is?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
javaandjazz

almost looks like a fancy bunsen burner from chemistry class.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
antiquesilver

It's a lamp that used a candle for light. The spring goes under the candle to keep it raised to the top of the cylinder. Very nice.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dreamgoddess

Wow, now that you mention that, it sort of does!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac

It's called a follower.....and I'll bet that base would polish up beautifully!...Check a magnet....bet it's brass. And the cranberry shade is not to be sneezed at either.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dreamgoddess

Antiquesilver, I've never heard of this before. So does the candle stick up above the cylinder or is it sort of level with the top of the cylinder? I'm not sure I understand how it would work.

Do you have any idea of the age of the piece?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dreamgoddess

Linda, will a magnet stick to brass? The shade is really what first caught my eye...but then I saw the base with the fish (or dolphins?). I just loved it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
antiquesilver

Use a candle that will fit inside the brass cylinder when it's closed. Remove the top brass piece leaving the spring in the bottom half. Set the candle on the spring, compress, & fit the top brass piece over the top of the candle & lock down. The wick end will be exposed for lighting & it will always be at the correct height.

I'll be interested to hear what others say about the age. I have a pair of large copper lamps like this made in Birmingham England(from a ship maybe?) that I'd like to know more about.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 6:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dreamgoddess

Thank you! I see what you mean now! I was hoping I had a candle that would fit, but all of mine are too large to go down in the cylinder.

I'm also really interested in knowing an approximate age for it. I looked all over, but couldn't find any kind of markings on it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dreamgoddess

Small bump hoping for some info on age.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 12:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
antiquesilver

According to a quick google search, there was a patent in 1909 by Bradley & Hubbard for a spring-loader candle holder but this may have been for some variation of the original.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 1:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazypup

Although much taller, those spring loaded candle holders are commonly used today as altar candles in many churches.

The modern variation use the common hurricane candles and will burn about 4 or 5 hours.

As was mentioned above, the top is removed and the candle is inserted in the top with the wich sticking out through the top opening. As the top is set back in place the bottom of the candle will compress the spring down, then as the candle burns the spring continually pushes the candle to the top of the tube until the entire candle in consumed or someone extinquishes the candle.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dreamgoddess

I tried using a hurricane candle in it, but it won't fit - the diameter is too large. I'm on the hunt for a smaller candle to use.

Does anyone have any guesses as to the age of this one? I'm thinking this is probably not a modern one, but I don't know how old it might be.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazypup

Upon further study of your photos I have come to realize that is not a candle lamp..it is an electric lamp.

Examine the top pusher plate on the spring,,,Notice the green discoloration...Also note that there is absolutely no evidence of any candle wax residue...

That lamp is battery operated...

A flange mount type bulb is inserted into the top brass tube with the glass part of the bulb extending out. The spring is inserted in the bottom brass tube and a AA battery is pushed down into the bottom tube, then the top tube is set on top of the battery and pushed down and locked in place. The light will stay on until you either disconnect the top tube or the battery goes dead, whichever comes first.

You can still buy those type of bulbs at a local hardware store and the AA batteries are available almost anywhere.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dreamgoddess

Whatever the green actually is, it's all the way down inside the brass tube as well as on the outside. I'm not going to swear it's wax, but it feels like it and I can scrape it off.

If it isn't wax, what else would it be and how do I clean the inside of the tube?

I'll go by the hardware store tomorrow and see if I can find a bulb.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac

It's wax.....and the dyes in the wax....
Put the brass thingy in a pot of water and boil it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 8:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dreamgoddess

Wow, I didn't know you could boil brass! I'm going to give this a try and see if the green stuff melts off.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cmdviola

Definitely an old spring loaded push up candle holder- and very nice! look on the web at the smithsonian collection I Just saw a description of the mechanism patented in 1909. if not exact, then very similar.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jemdandy

The candle goes inside and compresses the spring. The top piece is put in place and its lip bears against the top of the candle. The candle must fit the tube and it does not have a taper, but is straight sided.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mamerjj

look up information on a courting candle. They used them years ago and when the candle went out (purpose of the spring) the gentleman had to leave. Just an Idea. I have one but not as fancy as this one,.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 3:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Can anyone identify this nightstand?
This nightstand was my grandmas and was given to me...
Michael Potter
help identifying antique table
I found this table at an estate sale for 45 dollars....
moya0311
Three crown stamp on fork: Swedish or U.S.?
Any idea on the age or authenticity of this brass fork...
bradleyd_svh
walnut panel
Hi Everyone, I bought this 30" piece at an auction...
sam_md
Ruby cut to clear bowl set - help with identification
A while ago I bought this set of four ruby glass bowls...
lana_roma
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™