Simunbra Chandelier having a foliate canopy above four pendant patinated rods supporting a circular cast foliate ring with four satellite extension rings holding sinumbra fonts with a fifth font suspended directly below the primary ring. Each burner tube bearing a label: MANUFACTURED BY/ H.N. HOOPER & CO./ BOSTON.

EXTREMELY RARE AMERICAN LACQUERED BRASS 5-LIGHT ARGAND SINUMBRA CHANDELIER

Labeled: Henry N. Hooper & Co. (active 1832-1868)

Boston, 1835-1845

The foliate canopy above four pendant patinated rods supporting a circular cast foliate ring with four satellite extension rings holding sinumbra fonts with a fifth font suspended directly below the primary ring. Each burner tube bearing a label: MANUFACTURED BY/ H.N. HOOPER & CO./ BOSTON.

H: 48″ Diameter: 44ΒΌ”

CONDITION: Excellent: The brass surface has been restored to its original patinated and two-tone appearance and the fonts have been repainted to appear as original. The glass shades and chimneys are replacements.  Electrified.

*Currently on view in our booth at the Gallery at 200 LEX in the New York Design Center, 200 Lexington Avenue, (at 32nd Street), floor 10, New York City.

In his book 19th Century Elegant Lighting, Gerald T. Gowitt says, ” Henry Northey Hooper (1799-1865), of Boston, Massachusetts was already winning awards for metal work in 1817 at the age of eighteen years.  He won a gold metal for his exhibit of lamps listed in the catalogue of the Massachusetts Mechanics’ Association First Exhibition and Fair.

Hooper is first listed in the Boston City Directory in 1823 as a mathematical instrument maker; the address is Drawbridge 48 Ann. The 1828 city directory finds Hooper a Boston Copper Company agent and two years later he is described as a “successor” to the late Company.

In 1832, he formed a partnership with William Blake and Thomas Richardson, known as Henry N. Hooper and Company. The firm specialized in metal castings and offered a wide variety of lighting devises, including Argand and sinumbra lamps and later, solar lamps and gasoliers.”[1]

The Company is known to have produced catalogues in 1850 and 1858. Because no sinumbra or Argand lamps are listed or pictured in the 1850 catalogue, it would appear that Argand and sinumbra technology had been entirely supplanted by Solar and gas fixtures by that date.  Candlesticks and candelabra continue to be featured.

Sinumbra lamps use Argand burners patented in England by Ami Argand in 1784, and differ from Argand lamps only in the design of the oil font, which is in the form of a flatted doughnut encircling the burner rather than off to one side.  This improvement largely eliminated the shadow cast by the font when the lamp was lighted.

Simunbra Chandelier (lights off) having a foliate canopy above four pendant patinated rods supporting a circular cast foliate ring with four satellite extension rings holding sinumbra fonts with a fifth font suspended directly below the primary ring. Each burner tube bearing a label: MANUFACTURED BY/ H.N. HOOPER & CO./ BOSTON.
Simunbra Chandelier (from below), having a foliate canopy above four pendant patinated rods supporting a circular cast foliate ring with four satellite extension rings holding sinumbra fonts with a fifth font suspended directly below the primary ring. Each burner tube bearing a label: MANUFACTURED BY/ H.N. HOOPER & CO./ BOSTON.
Simunbra Chandelier (from below, lights off), having a foliate canopy above four pendant patinated rods supporting a circular cast foliate ring with four satellite extension rings holding sinumbra fonts with a fifth font suspended directly below the primary ring. Each burner tube bearing a label: MANUFACTURED BY/ H.N. HOOPER & CO./ BOSTON.
Simunbra Chandelier (lights on) without its five glass globe shades.
Sinumbra Chandelier detail of burner tube with label of Henry N. Hooper.
Sinumbra Chandelier detail of main cast brass foliate ring.
Sinumbra Chandelier detail of foliate canopy from which the brass rods hang.
Sinumbra Chandelier detail of sinumbra oil font, electrified burner tube, chimney holder and glass chimney.

The present Sinumbra chandelier could replace a fixture burning about 40 candles and may be the only known American made, labeled, example of a multi-burner Sinumbra chandelier.[2]

L-JWM-185171

[1] Gerald T. Gowitt, 19th Century Elegant Lighting: Argand, Sinumbra and Solar Lamps (Atglen: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2002), 24.

[2] English examples of 8 and 12 burner Sinumbra chandeliers are known, including one in St. Luke’s church in Granville, Ohio, and one in the collection of Dan Mattausch.  The Victoria & Albert Museum in London holds a print of a multi-burner hanging Sinumbra published about 1830 by Perry & Co. London, successors to Parker & Perry, established by William Parker, among the earliest proponents of Argand lighting in England.  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O591617/design-for-a-perry-co/

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