Brass Figural Solar Lamp
Cornelius & Co. (1839-1851)
Labeled: Cornelius & Co./ Philad/ Patent/ April 16th 1843
The etched glass tulip-shaped shade and glass chimney above a spun brass oil font raised on a maiden-form figural standard on a cylindrical pedestal on a square brass plinth.
Condition: Shade and chimney of later date, burner converted to kerosene, lacquer surface degraded and brass tarnished.
A lamp with an apparently identical maiden-form standard is illustrated in the 1860 Dietz & Company catalog in plate 32, item No. 149. This is not entirely surprising because by 1849, Cornelius had formed a partnership with Dietz & Company of New York and shades and lamp bases from the two firms were often intermixed in the succeeding years.
A very closely related brass figural Solar lamp base was also produced by Henry N. Hooper & Co. of Boston and it appears in their 1850 catalog as No. 505.
Two solar lamps by Cornelius with virtually identical fonts retaining original burners can be seen on this website. A Cornelius Solar Lamp in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art can be seen here. As the advancement of new fuels and burner technology progressed, it was typical to upgrade old lamps. As a result, many lamps were converted, as this one was, from Solar (oil) to Kerosene.