Featured Oil Lamp Identification

Discussion in 'Pottery, Glass, and Porcelain' started by kellaurm, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. kellaurm

    kellaurm Active Member

    Hi, I need help with some of these oil lamp patterns. Anything stand out, does anyone know any specific names. Some of them have prices of $150 or more but they could be old store pricing.

  2. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    @Iowa Jayhawk has a beautiful collection. Maybe he can help.
  3. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    Just for a little perspective but before electricity every home on the planet had 1-2-12 of these ! There are still zillions floating around,so unless it was an extremely rare one by Sandwich glass or whomever,Id never pay more than a 10 spot for one.
  4. Iowa Jayhawk

    Iowa Jayhawk Well-Known Member

    I will take a look and see what I can help with....Agree with Johnny on the number of them in existence. I have probably 150+ in my collection, many of which I am going to sell off. Nothing I see in the pictures cries out saying they are unique.
  5. Iowa Jayhawk

    Iowa Jayhawk Well-Known Member

    Will dig into the Catherine Thuro reference books I have and see what they say.
  6. sabre123

    sabre123 Well-Known Member

    There are way too many factors that go into determining value for whale oil and kerosene lamps. You really need to specialize in them to accurately gauge whether a certain one is worth anything.

    I always just pass them up at estate sales for that reason. But I do know a little about which burners are worth money and will pick up the whole lamp if reasonably priced just to sell the burner.
    cxgirl, Ghopper1924 and scoutshouse like this.
  7. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    Most of them are good quality, not spectacular lamps.
    In the last 10 -15 years, prices have dropped considerably.

    I would not pay more then 10-20 dollars if buying for resale.

    The one that I like best - not that it is anything special, I just like it.
    i need help, cxgirl and pearlsnblume like this.
  8. Iowa Jayhawk

    Iowa Jayhawk Well-Known Member

    I agree with sabre123 on that one... If you know your burners, you can sometimes find things worth the price. There are way too many different lamp manufacturers and types to know everything.
    i need help, cxgirl and Ghopper1924 like this.
  9. Brazos

    Brazos Member

    The ruby stain is the most desirable, then the amber and then the white. None of the rest are anything special. If the stained lamp is as big as it looks and not camera angle, it is the biggest stained lamp I have ever seen. I would put that in my collection, if my wife didn't catch me.
  10. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    Believe you are correct in that it is taller than normal

  11. Brazos

    Brazos Member

    While we are talking about stained fonts like this one, who made them? I have been unable to find any reference to any North American company making these.

    All that I have and all that I have seen have North American hardware and stands. Perhaps, the fonts were imported from Europe and assembled here? There were a number of lamp assembly companies that bought parts from all over and made up a gazillion combos.

    Does anybody know of a North American glass company that was making such fonts?

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
    Ghopper1924 likes this.
  12. Brazos

    Brazos Member

    What? There are a lot of smart, well read, people on this board. Surely, there is an answer to this question out there somewhere. Don't be shy. The fate of human history hinges on this question being answered.

    OK, that may be a slight over statement. But, each bit of glass history is important.
  13. Iowa Jayhawk

    Iowa Jayhawk Well-Known Member

    Well...the base is baroque style, and the connector is one that Hobbs used with that same base, so it might well be a Hobbs lamp...they did do some stained glass fonts, but haven't seen that one. Another somewhat similar to it sold for $56.00 on Ebay a couple years ago. There, thats the best I have for now.
    Ghopper1924 and KikoBlueEyes like this.
  14. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    Did the Westmoreland Specialty Company, before it became Westmoreland Glass, make lamp fonts. They made a lot of glass in the Bohemian style like the stained font you are asking about. Otherwise, I would lean toward Bohemia import sold to lamp makers.
    KikoBlueEyes likes this.
  15. Brazos

    Brazos Member

    We can discount Westmoreland, as they came along too late. I can't find any info on "Specialty Glass Co.", so they can't be eliminated. All these fonts have fine line collars, so they should date before the late 1870's

    Thanks to Jayhawk and Cluttered for your input. KEEP LOOKING! Even wags are appreciated.
    Ghopper1924 and KikoBlueEyes like this.
  16. Brazos

    Brazos Member

    I need to make a small correction. In looking a some of my ruby stained lamps, I find a couple with Taplin/Brown collars. These would date, at least, a few years later than indicated in my prior post. Collars can be changed, but they look original. Perhaps, we can assume these lamps were made in the transition time going from fine line to pressed sheet metal collars.

    I should never trust my memory and check these things.
  17. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    What would a rough estimate of time be for the change over?
    Thank you.
    And for us who know a little, but not enough, what is fine line. I think I know what pressed sheet metal is, but others may not.
    Thanks for teaching us.
  18. Brazos

    Brazos Member

    Cluttered...I'm sorry for the delay in answering your questions. Somehow, I missed your post.

    Prior to 1876 lamp collars were formed from brass tubes and had two horizontal fine lines around them. In 1875 Mr.Taplin invented a collar stamped from sheet metal but it was weak and didn't hold up,later, Mr. Brown patented an improvement, by adding two deeper groves to Taplin's collar. This added strength and thus we had the Taplin- Brown collar. This was cheaper to make and heralded the end of the fine line collars.

    Not all companies changed overnight, as I'm sure that all existing stock of fine line collars was used up. As a guide, any lamp with a Taplin- Brown collar would have been made after 1876. Unless, of course, the collar had been changed. Gotta be careful about that, as nothing is foolproof.
    KikoBlueEyes likes this.
  19. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing all your detailed information. I love oil lamps, but I have no idea what to look for.
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