This lamp is a remarkable survival from the turn of the century when, before the advent of electric lamps, kerosene lamps were used to illuminate interiors. The term “banquet lamp” was used by the makers to describe the largest size lamps available at that time and they were extremely expensive. Because of their size and the resultant work involved in their decoration, lamps and punch bowls were the most expensive shapes made in the glass cutting business and only the wealthy could afford them, since they usually cost more than $200. Because of this, not many were made and they are rare today. With the exception of its chimney, which was cut to match by a modern craftsman, all of the elements of this lamp are original.
The blank was probably made by C. Dorflinger & Sons of White Mills, Pennsylvania, one of the largest makers of blanks in the eastern United States. Corning Glass Works had phased out its blank manufacture around 1905, and the Hoare glass cutting firm, which had originally purchased all of their blanks for cutting from Corning Glass Works, was forced to find a new supplier. The Dorflinger company was relatively close and made wares of the highest quality so some blanks were purchased from it. The lamp is cut in the Victoria pattern which can be identified in an undated Hoare catalogue of about 1905, although it may have been developed earlier. As electricity became more available around the country, expensive kerosene lamps, like those produced by Tiffany Studios and glass cutting firms like Hoare, were phased out and the companies make only electric lamps at this price level.