Large Overlay Lamp with Stem, Cobalt Blue Cut to Opaque White Cut to Clear, about 1865–75
Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, Sandwich, Massachusetts (active 1826–88)
Glass, blown, overlaid, and cut, with gilt bronze and gilt brass, and marble, with glass shade, blown, frosted, and wheel cut, and glass chimney
19 7/8 in. (high to top of brass collar), 33 1/4 in. high (to top of chimney)
Lamps of this general design appear in a publication titled Catalogue of Petroleum or Kerosene Oil Lamps & Chandeliers, which was issued by the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. No address is given for them in the catalogue, which was printed by the well-known Boston lithographers, J. H. Bufford of 490 Washington Street, as it is presumed that at the time it was issued the company was moving to temporary quarters, variously at 13 Broadway and 164 Devonshire Street, Boston. Interestingly, no date is given either. These lamps have traditionally been dated to “about 1865,” but it must be noted that the trade publication, Crockery Journal, describes the contents of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company catalogue in their issue for February 6, 1875 (I, p. 7; copy in Hirschl & Adler archives).
On the other hand, the inclusion of Sandwich overlay lamps of this type in a catalogue issued by Frank H. Lovell of New York in 1867–68 (James Duncan Phillips library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts) and in another Lovell catalogue issued in 1877–78 (see The Illuminator III [Fall 1989], p. 8) stretches the dating of these lamps for at least a decade or more in the 1860s and 1870s. Actually, the date of these lamps can be pushed back to at least 1860, in which year Dietz and Company of 132 and 133 William Street, New York, and 4 St. Paul’s Building, Little Carter Lane, London, published an Illustrated Catalogue, where, on Plate 5, three “Rich Cut Plate Glass Pillars for Lamps” of the same form as that the stem of the present lamp—in cranberry, blue, and green—with the page headed with the misleading title of “DIETZ & CO., MANUFACTURERS” [our emphasis]. (Oddly, neither the companion fonts nor the entire lamps are shown, suggesting that the catalogue was at least in part intended for those who would assemble the lamps). Nevertheless, the rarity of these lamps would suggest that their scale and considerable cost may have limited their popularity and saleability. The fact that the 1867–68 Lovell catalogue was issued in Spanish indicates that a Spanish-speaking audience, probably in South America, was being courted.