Cameo Kerosene Lamp

Object Name: 
Cameo Kerosene Lamp

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Object Name: 
Cameo Kerosene Lamp
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 50.8 cm, Diam (max): 16.5 cm
On Display
about 1880
Web Description: 
Thomas Webb and Sons, which produced high-quality cameo-cut Art Glass, also manufactured fashionable kerosene lamps in collaboration with Hinks and Sons. This elaborate lamp consists of two large blown spheres, used as both stand and shade, made of ruby glass cased with white glass carved in a floral and geometric pattern. The relatively opaque shade makes this object a less effective source of light, and it suggests that the lamp was treasured more as a showpiece—displaying a delicately carved overlay pattern and reflecting the best of Victorian taste—than as an illuminator of a dark late 19th-century parlor. This lamp is emblematic of modern advances in lighting and consequent changes in domestic life, and it also presents the lighting fixture as sculpture. Its intricate decoration of cameo carving, a technique that reached unprecedented levels of sophistication at that time, shows an East Asian influence. The ornamentation of the stand combines honeycombs and lotus leaves overlaid with peonies, symbols known from Oriental lacquer, carved wood, and textiles. Employed as a national symbol in China and Taiwan, the peony is celebrated as a flower of riches and honor, while the hexagonal shape of honeycombs and the geometric leaves are often found as a background ornament or as decoration on secondary surfaces. The burner is signed “HINKS & SON’S / PATENT”; the small white glass handle is impressed “HINKS’S / DUPLEX / PATENT.” The lamp was included in a cameo glass exhibition presented at The Corning Museum of Glass in 1982 (Sidney M. Goldstein, Leonard S. Rakow, and Juliette K. Rakow, Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking, Corning: the museum, 1982, cat. no. 90, pp. 86 and 119). This object is also described and depicted in Catherine M. V. Thuro, Oil Lamps II: Glass Kerosene Lamps, Toronto: Thorncliffe House, and Paducah, Kentucky: Collector Books, 1994, p. 141.
Rakow, Leonard S., Former Collection
James D. Julia, Inc., Source
Painted base (a)
Stamped small white glass handle (a)
Stamped top of burner (a)
Stamped side of collar (a)
Primary Description: 
Ruby and opaque white glass, silver plated metal; blown, cased, acid-etched, cold-worked, assembled. Lamp consists of two large blown pieces, the egg-shaped stand (a) and globular shade (b). Both are made from a ruby glass gathered over with white glass, the latter being carved in a floral and geometric pattern. The chimney (c) is made from ruby glass gathered over with colorless glass; it may be a replacement that is not original to this lamp. Small metal tube (d) fits into metal collar (e), which screws into base (a). The burner, shade ring and collar are silver plated. The burner is signed “HINKS & SON’S / PATENT”; the side of the collar is signed "HINKS & SON'S / PATENT"; the small white glass handle is impressed “HINKS’S / DUPLEX / PATENT”.
Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking
Corning Museum of Glass 1982-05-01 through 1982-10-31
Cameo glass, one of the most costly and difficult decorating techniques since first century B.C., is documented and illustrated in this catalog. Included are examples from Rome, Islam, and China, as well as English 19th-century masterpieces by John Northwood and George Woodall among others. For the purposes of this catalog, the term “cameo glass” is used to refer to cased glass objects with two or more differently colored layers. The outer layer is usually an opaque or opalescent white, and the outer layer or layers have been carved in to leave the decoration standing in relief against a body of contrasting color. Shading is produced by thinning down the carved layer; highlights are created where the glass is left thickest. Both this catalog, and the exhibition for which it was created, documents the 2000-year cameo glass tradition.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, pp. 36-37, #23; BIB# AI86878
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2010 (2011) illustrated, p. 27; BIB# AI90243
Important Lamp & Glass Auction (2010) illustrated, p. 26, Lot 1069; BIB# 115439
Oil Lamps II : glass kerosene lamps (1983) illustrated, p. 141; BIB# 22360
Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking (1982) illustrated, pp. 86, 119 #90; BIB# 30609