Argand lamp

Object Number: 
Sheffield plate
Overall: 26 1/2 x 14 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. (67.3 x 36.2 x 16.5 cm) Each (shade): 6 x 8 1/2 in. (15.2 x 21.6 cm)
Cast Sheffield plate Argand lamp; hour-glass shaped pedestal with molded midband ring and cast foliate scrolls applied around the center, a lobed circular foot and a spiral gadrooned rim; seated on a square platform with an applied gadrooned edge and four cast hairy paw feet with foliate scroll knees; pedestal supports a second smaller baluster pedestal with fluting around the lower half and a gadrooned rim; second pedestal supports a cylindrical shaft with molded ring; two cast arms with acanthus decoration applied to the sides of the shaft; two cylindrical tubes applied to the tops of the arms at the lamp ends; cylindrical lamp shafts applied to the arms vertically; globular reservoirs with ball drops, concave shoulders, applied gadrooned rims and circular perforations in the tops, applied to the bases of the lamp shafts; gadrooned rings around the centers of the shafts hung from circular supports at the tops; circular pedestal applied to the top of each shaft which support the burners; baluster pedestal with a cast foliate scroll base applied to the top of the central shaft; large globular body with fluting around the lower half applied to the top; body with concave shoulder, gadrooned rim and applied fluted dome surmounted by a pineapple finial; rewired for gas; no maker's marks; two Baluster-shaped cut and frosted glass shades with outward turned rims, narrow necks, and spherical bodies; necks and bodies with cut flowers and vines.
Gallery Label: 
In the 1780s, Americans learned of a revolutionary new alternative to candlelight and primitive oil lamps. The Argand lamp, patented in London by Swiss chemist François-Pierre Amié Argand in 1784, produced ten to twelve times more light than a single candle and emitted less smoke and odor than simple oil lamps. This handsome lamp is one of a pair probably purchased by John Beekman (1768-1843) and Mary Elizabeth Bedlow (1771-1848) of New York in the 1810s. They were converted to gas lamps during the mid-nineteenth century. Once converted, their location had to be fixed, as the lamps were plugged into gas pipes projecting through the wall.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Effie Beekman Borrowe
Probable descent: John Beekman (1768-1843), who married Mary Elizabeth Bedlow (1771-1848); to their daughter Jane Beekman (1805-1876), who married Dr. Jacob Hallett Borrowe (1808-1873); to their son Samuel Borrowe (1837-1896), who married Euphemia Campbell (1839-1928); to their daughter Effie Beekman Borrowe (1863-1951), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group