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Origin: America, [West] Virginia, Wheeling
Overall: 10 x 6 3/8in. (25.4 x 16.2cm)
Glass, Wood
Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund
Acc. No. 2015-205,A
Wood framed lantern with four panes of lacy pressed glass. The upper and lower supports of the wooden frame are scalloped. The lantern stands on four wooden feet and there are interior, wooden supports with circular openings at the top and base. The wood frame has been painted green in the twentieth century, but analysis indicates that it was originally painted black. All four colorless, lacy glass panes were press molded and have the same decoration. The principle feature is a central plaque depicting a sidewheel-paddle steamboat and the inscription, “J. & C. RITCHIE.” There is a vase on either side of the plaque that has flowering vines sprouting from the top. The vine and flower decoration fills the upper portion of the pane.
Label:This lantern is the only period object known to remain intact with panes of lacy pressed glass manufactured by the Wheeling Flint Glass Works operated by J. & C. Ritchie. In 1955 eight identical panes of glass were found and distributed separately (Toledo Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chrysler Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Oglenay Mansion, Wheeling, a private collection and two at Corning Museum). These panes remain the only marked wares by this partnership and they are all of the same pattern. Similar panes were advertised by Bakewell, Page, and Bakewell in 1936 as "pressed panes for steamboats."
Inscription(s):"J. & C. RITCHIE" on central plaque on glass panes