COLLECTION: Metals

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Argand lamp

ca. 1790
Origin: England, Birmingham
OH (to top of fuel reservoir):24 7/8"; Diam. of base: 6 1/8"
Fused silverplate (Sheffield Plate) and glass
Bequest of Dr. Lowry Dale Kirby
Acc. No. 1991-667,A-F
Argand lamp, fused silverplate and glass with replaced glass shades.
Label:The design of Argand lamps, first parented in 1782, was revolutionary. An oil reservoir fed a circular wick exposed to the air on both sides. It was housed in a glass chimney with an enhanced draft. George Washington ordered twenty-six plated Argand lamps for Mount Vernon in 1790, noting, "These lamps, it is said, consume their own smoke, do no injury to furniture, give more light, and are cheaper than candles." Matthew Boulton was the principal maker of the earliest Argand lamps.
Provenance:Ex Coll: Dr. Lowry Dale Kirby, Nashville, TN
Mark(s):Retailer's inscription stamped on exterior of wick housing: "BRIGHT & CO./37 BRUTON St." Labeled "ARGAND & CO./PATENT"
Inscription(s):None