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Docs Antiques

Dr. Moir, Frisco TX   

c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)

Antique cast and seamed brass oil lamp with inverted acorn font and a baluster and knopped stem attached to a circular base. This lamp dates from the 1830s, if not possibly earlier, and is likely to be American (see all Photos). Above the font are hand made threads on the interior for attaching a metal wick tube that would complete the lamp, excluding any globe. As such, this lamp originally consisted of three separate parts that were joined together, the upper parts (font & wick tube) were threaded together, whereas the lower stem to base parts were peened (see Photo 7).

The craftsmanship of the brass maker is above average and is visually evident in the fine bands, ridges and rings on the font, stem and base (Photos 2, 3 and 4 ) as well as the pleasing shape of its inverted acorn font. The font is the reservoir that holds the oil. The underside of the base was skimmed by the maker and then the base was attached to the stem by hammering a flange that protruded through the base (see Photo 6). There is just one brass lamp with shade parts remaining, and it is Labeled B in the Photos. The brass lamp Labeled A in Photo 9 has been purchased and is no longer available.

The font and stem were cast in two half-sections and then soldered together leaving a vertical seam running from the bottom of the stem where it joins the base all the way to the very top of the font where the burner would be attached. The seam is evident in Photo 3 if you look closely for a line running vertically up through the center of the stem. The base was made separately in a single casting and then turned, polished and attached to the stem. The method of joining the base to the stem followed the older traditional technique of running an extension of the stem through a hole in the center of the base and then hammering (peening) the end of the extension back on itself to clench and hold the base (see photo of base). The other alternative method that was used at the time this lamp was produced was to thread the extension and also the base and then screw the base onto to stem. Both of these older methods of joining bases were replaced by the development of a commercially made hollow steel rivet perfected in the 1840s that saved time and labor..

The special details that make this antique lamp appealing are as follows. Starting just 1/8 inch below the very top of the font, there is a well defined convex ring knop followed immediately by a concave 1/4 inch wide band that begins the inverted acorn. Each side of this concave band is defined by a scored line and below the concave band is the remaining 2/3rds of a full hemisphere that ends in another 1/4 inch wide slightly concave band positioned to balance out the first one previously noted above. Continuing down the font, there is a very thin 1/16 wide ring that is defined by incised lines. This thin band leads to a deeply concave and broader band about 5/16 inches wide that constricts the body of the font before it bells out to its maximum diameter to form the 5/16 inch wide rounded convex band that makes up the edge of the acorn cap (inverted acorn cap). And each side of this rounded convex band that constitutes the widest part of the font is defined by a finely incised line. Below the lower incised line is another slightly concave band about 5/16 inches wide that forms the top of the acorn cap until the baluster section begins. The baluster section extends for 1 5/16 inches with its lower sections preempted by a double capstan made up of two concave bands. Again finely incised lines define each end of the double capstan while a ridge forms its center. Below the lower capstan is a prominent ring knop that ends the cast stem section and covers the short vertical extension of the base that retains the peened joint.

The brass maker, however, did not stop there, but continued to add pleasing bands to the base starting with a short fanning trumpet shape to begin the base. In fact, there are three different segments to the base before one reaches the vertical drop that forms the outer most edge of the base. The first is the trumpet segment that joins the stem. The second is a convexly rounded ring that drops down toward the third segment that is concave and extends out to the vertical edge of the base. Each of these three segments is separated by a thin cordon made up of a rounded ridge set between a pair of incised lines. The end result of all these curving knops, lines and changing planes produces a lamp that continues with some of the knop and ring traditions of much older brass candlesticks since the early 1700s. The extra lathe work needed to smooth the brass and score and finish the fine accent lines would soon disappear as industrial production of oil lamps progressed and stock parts could be assembled by factory workers in the 1840s and 1850s (i.e., in America and Great Britain).

As noted above, I originally had two of these antique brass oil lamp bases but now have only Lamp B available after selling Lamp A. The price listed here is for one brass lamp along with its modern fittings. The price stated here allows you to purchase antique brass oil lamp B along with one 20th C brass shade holder and its companion metal shade. The modern fittings function either as shade attachments placed directly on the lamps as shown in the photos or with a candle used as an extension for visual affect only (you will need to find just the right diameter and length of candle to achieve the look you might find most desirable). These modern fittings provide a way to display this brass lamp base in a broader range of settings than otherwise. Or you can display the brass lamp base just as it is and without a shade, the choice is interchangeable and easily reversible. Finally, Lamp base B also comes with my full satisfaction guarantee or you may return it post marked by 14 days for a refund (see my return policy below for complete details).

SIZE: Antique brass lamp base B stands 5 1/2 inches tall to the top of its font (burner parts are missing). The base or foot has a diameter of 3 1/8 inches. And the lamp becomes about 9 3/4 inches tall when the shade attachments are added. A replacement burner's thread diameter would need to fit an interior opening of about 0.804 inches (measured using precision calipers; metric equivalent is 20.5 mm). That is, the inside font diameter from the beginning edge of the threads across to the other side where the threads begin is 0.804 inches. The thread ridges themselves are not very strong in relief and may have been added at a later date (my opinion only since I have not studied threads closely and so do not rely on this observation; email me any questions if you have studied later threads added to older lamps). And so whether you wish to buy just one or the pair (if still available), these brass antiques will brighten any room and will certainly capture attention in most any setting.

CONDITION: This antique brass oil lamp is in good condition with no cracks, large dents or repairs (see all photos). The brass is shiny with no corrosion or stains although it does have a slight patina since the last time it was polished. This lamp has only been hand polished and not mechanically buffed (there are no deep scratches from harsh buffing). Lamp B has a single small dent to the side of its base and also has a couple of very minor dents to its font. Finally, the base on Lamp B displays a tiny wiggle indicating that the peened joint is has been jolted probably when the foot was dented. The lamp displays well and the tiny play in the base is not noticeable unless one picks Lamp B up and gently shakes it back and forth. The peened joint is not in the process of failing and will preform as required for decades and centuries to come. Of course, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return Lamp B for a refund (see our refund policy noted below). Of course, each lamp and its attachments are sold as a single lot and so each lot must be returned together with all attachments if it is being sent back for a refund.

SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $8.70 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail (this is an estimated savings of about $1 to $3 since insurance is also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items are double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. Insurance against loss or damage is not available on International First Class Parcels (limited to 4 lbs maximum weight), International Economy shipping or some International Priority Shipping depending on final destination. The International buyer will be asked to acknowledge this fact or upgrade to an International shipping option with insurance against loss or damage (email us for an insured International shipping quote). We have shipped fragile items to 28 countries around the globe to date and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges, if levied are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old and the petition is permitted to be submitted on the shipping method you have selected. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs, if any will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.

RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within ten days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double box, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (to date, we have had only two claims for damage from shipping in over nine years). Of course, never send an item back that was damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.

PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.

Item ID: RL542.a1387nye

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c1835 Cast, Seamed and Turned Brass Whale Oil Lamp (includes vintage metal shade + adapter, if wanted)


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