What kind of lamp(?) did this shade fit?

antiquesilverMarch 6, 2011

RD # engraved on the bottom indicates it's English, made in 1898; another # is W3966.

It is 9-1/2" tall with the opening at the bottom being 3-3/8"; the actual, small opening at the top is approx 1". The bottom is flat with no neck for a fitter.

It appears to be Vaseline glass (although I don't have a black light to confirm this), probably rubina verde opalescent from what I've learned through google. The design of a chrysanthemum/dalia with leaves & ferns is probably acid etched.

In the hundreds of shades I've looked at online, I haven't seen another like it. To me, it looks like it should set on a holder for a candle (similar to a fairy light) but I haven't come across anything this large or formal.

This photo below was done with a flash to show the opalescence but it shows a truer color of the top.

I bought a pair of these (the other one has a large chip gone out of the ruffle) about 35 years ago & decided it was finally time to learn their background, LOL!

What do y'all think? I know there's someone out their with the answer!

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For a gas light....probably side lights.
Perhaps made by Webb? And more like lemonescent than rubina verde.....which was more red than yours appears.
Without doing some research I don't know if Webb operated quite that early, but I believe they did....and I am not sure if they did the acid etched thing....but that's likely also.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Webb & John Walsh Walsh were both in that period but I haven't been able to pin down anything further. The shade is deeper in color than my photos since I forgot to change the light setting for natural light in the window, duh!

I had always assumed it was for gas but the missing fitter rim is what puzzles me - hard to believe it just set up in the air without support & didn't get knocked off - & it's shaped wrong to have been secured by banding on the fixture. I don't recall ever seeing a gas light where the globes weren't secured but now I'll have to go back through my gaslight book.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:03AM
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At the turn of the century formal chandeliers sometimes had very fancy chimneys fitting down into an upturned bowl-shaped open globe. With a similar down-turned globe underneath, actually being the oil reservoir. If the globe itself contained the fitting for the burner, it would not be necessary for the chimneys to do anything but sit in a rim inside the globe.

These fixtures are hideously expensive now (in the five to six thousand dollar range as antiques), and I have never had the privilege of looking into the guts of one in person to see how they are constructed. But it appears quite feasible that chimneys for them would not need the deep flange most oil lights required to snap onto the mount.

The one I saw in an 1898 catalogue describes the chimney as being fine acid etched glass, iridescent and it was btw fluted at the top like your picture. Since the chimney could fit over the burner apparatus and rest on the upturned globe below, it's quite possible they would not have the deeper flange so typical of chimneys in that era. BTW, the particular chimneys on the chandelier I was speaking about were kerosene.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Calliope, that's fabulous information. Before I posted the question, I spent at least 6 hours online looking at shades & came up with zip. I think I found 2 shades without flanges & both had flared tops big enough to accomodate clear chimneys for oil lamps - but nothing even close to the shape & there's no way a chimney would be small enough to fit thru the top of mine.

Do you remember which 1898 catalog you viewed?

$5-6k huh? Guess I'll keep using them over a votive candle at dinner.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:47AM
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Yes....it was a Sears and Roebuck and the pictures were hand drawn, of course. I could only go by the verbal description since it showed the fancy chimneys already seated inside the upturned bowl-shaped globe. The price on those similar dining chandeliers were $10.50. That sounds cheap until you consider you could buy a solid wood dining table and chairs for about the same price.

I am just speculating of course. I have no flat bed scanner in commission now, just one with a hopper feed so I can make a copy of this lamp. I'll see if I can find a way to duplicate the picture and description, but thought I'd mention it as a possibility to give you a possible lead on where to research. I also found it strongly suggestive as a possibility since the dates were so appropriate.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 3:48PM
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Ok, I found similar ones in the 1899 and 1900 catalogues as well. I had it wrong, it described the 'vase' and globes as being etched. But here is what struck me as pertinent. It says here that the burners can be lighted and trimmed without removing the globe or chimneys. IOW not at all like your typical chimneys where you had to lift them off the prongs to get to the wick to trim or light. IOW the globes and chimneys remained stationary above the wick access. IOW no need for the long flange. I don't feel really comfortable posting the picture I grabbed on the site since it's reproduction may be copywritten. I did get a picture of one and the description and will share it with you if you'd like you can email me through the GW and I'll scan it and email it to you.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:22PM
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I just sent an email to you, Calliope. I wouldn't have thought of Sears because the shades are made in England & I stupidly assumed they were sold primarily in England, if for no other reason than fragility. Obviously, I'm not a glass person & this is becoming quite a learning experience! Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:46PM
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The Sears chandelier is interesting & I think the burner assembly is probably a good candidate for my shade although in a different usage, possibly as a combo shade & chimney. I wonder what that particular type of burner was called? I can't imagine mine used as a chimney with an outer shade covering the bottom half of it - if for no other reason than it would obscure too much light. And it's fairly large around the bottom, not to mention that it was probably an expensive piece. Frankly, I never considered it a chimney at all but the shape & height IS more akin to a chimney than a shade or globe.

Instead of answers, now I have more questions!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 4:54PM
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In my Mothers house on third street in Salem,Ohio she still has the old gas lights, all in working order.

Some have shades like that while others have an open burner very similar to the ones on coleman lanterns and you attach silk mantles before lighting the gas light.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 3:27AM
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Right...I was just speculating a possible lead as to how a piece like that could be mounted without the flange. Yes......my parent's townhouse (in Ohio) and also another lovely old Victorian we had previously also has/had gas lights and I am thinking seriously about installing a few in my present house as back-up light when we lose power, because we don't lose gas. Your very fancy glass pieces would be a holy terror to clean out the carbon black from with the narrow upper flute if they were used in a coal oil apparatus.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 8:48AM
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Lazypup, that's great to know because I still haven't found another shade this tall or this shape.

Wow - working interior gas lights; I'd love to see that!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 9:05AM
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Calliope, I was thinking the same thing about the cleaning, whether kerosene or coal gas it would be a nightmare. Another anomoly is that the top is reduced in diameter as opposed to flaring out or remaining the same, combined with the small opening - heat can't easily escape & even with a tea light for a short period, it gets hotter than I expected.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 9:22AM
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What do you think the possibility might be they aren't even connected with lighting? LOL

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:15PM
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It's crossed my mind but I'm still drawing a blank. Of course I do that a lot lately, LOL!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:52PM
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I sent a photo to The Antique Lamp Co in NY, who very graciously answered my email, but said they'd never seen anything like it.

I guess my next step is to find an English antique lighting specialist & hope for better luck.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 9:55AM
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I'm waiting for the estimate from the British Nat'l Archives to copy the Registered Design (I suspect it's going to be prohibitively expensive) but I found this oil lamp part at the Eagle-Emporium website & thought it was interesting. I'm not sure what era it was used (or even, how it was used), but it seems like a contender for more research.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 3:36PM
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Hmm....that shade could fit into that "bowl"...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 4:03PM
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