Exceptional 19th Century American tole whale oil lamp.
This is an outstanding example of the form known as a petticoat lamp. The cone underneath the "petticoat" can fit into a candlestick. In addition to the petticoat, there is a conical font, a tapered and slightly concave strap handle, a filling tube, and the original brass and tin screw in burner and the original brass screw in cap for the filler tube.
This was originally tole painted, with remains of the old asphaltum showing in a number of places.
Inside the petticoat base, there is old writing. As near as I can make it out, it reads: "Heniker N.H. 6/27/ - 5 $2.00" Not sure of the year, it could be 35, 55, or 85. Henniker, a town in New Hampshire (spelled with only one "n") was around for any of the three possible dates. Most likely it is from 1835 or 1855. Really nice to have the town specified.
Aside from the worn asphaltum paint, this is in excellent condition, with no significant dents or other damage. There is moderate rust inside the bottom. I increased the contrast on the photo of the writing, which makes the rust look worse than it is.
Height about 4" to the top of the burner.
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Early American antiques, Folk Art, early Pottery and Porcelain
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