Whale Oil Lamp

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Object Name: 
Whale Oil Lamp
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 25.9 cm, W: 10.8 cm, D: 10.7 cm
On Display
about 1835
Web Description: 
The Union Glass Works was in operation only from 1826 to 1842. It was a cooperative venture started by seven men, four glassworkers and three businessmen with glass experience. An article published in Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser on July 1, 1826—before production began—stated that the owners intended to make “Cut and Plain Flint Glass.” They had previously worked at the New England Glass Company in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, and they probably expected to manufacture the same sort of products that they had turned out at that factory. The Union glasshouse made various types of tableware and lighting, much of which was cut and/or engraved. Several whale oil lamps have been attributed to this firm on the basis of their resemblance to some that were passed down in the family of one of the original glassblowers. Attributions can be made solely on this basis because there are no catalogs for this company, or other records of the patterns it employed. Almost all of the lamps that are thought to have been made by the Union firm include the form of pressed base found on this example, although the shape and cutting of the fonts vary somewhat. The Museum has three other lamps with this kind of base and slightly different cutting, as well as a number of other shapes, most of which descended in the family of Richard Synar, one of the glassblowers who founded the company. [238 words] For more information on the Union Glass Works, see Mary Margaret Cheek, “The Cooperative Venture of the Union Glass Works, Kensington, Pennsylvania, 1826–1842,” Journal of Glass Studies, v. 39, 1997, pp. 93–140.
Matthew Bie Antiques, Source
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass, metal; blown, cut, pressed, assembled. Colorless glass oil lamp with squat spherical blown font, hollow ovoid stem attached pressed square base with decorative conical join; base has four feet. Font decorated with band of cut ovals and diamonds with stippled centers and cut lines radiating from top. Stem decorated with cut band of leaf garland. Metal threaded mount fixed to top of font.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, p. 30, #18; BIB# AI86878