No. 595

When I first saw it I thought it looked so familiar.  I was sure I had seen it before.  But what was it?  Was it a wine cooler or bucket of some sort?

Wine Cooler?

Wine Cooler?

It was copper with what appeared to be silver accents.  There were three dimensional palm fronds on one side and a bird on the opposite side. The band had palm fronds, leaves and a reclining nymph. And the handles looked to me to be tiger heads with rings in their mouths.  An unusual grouping of details but decidely aesthetic in look.

I turned it over and saw there was a round opening in the bottom.  So it was not a wine cooler or bucket.  But then I saw it, “595” and the Meriden Britannia mark. 

595

595

I had a reproduction of the 1886/87 Meriden Britannia catalog.  I have looked through this catalog on many occasions; sometimes to search for a specific item and other times as entertainment.  There were 3200 illustrations within, all beautiful and remarkably detailed. In the Introduction to this reproduction catalog, Edmund P. Hogan states, in part:

“The catalog is illustrated throughout with wood engravings.  These pictures were actually engraved by hand onto the surface of blocks of fine-grained wood.  It required a large measure of artistic ability to render the elaborate and highly embellished patterns so popular in 1886. Meriden Britannia  Co. had its own wood engraving department, in which six or eight men were steadily employed.”

Hopefully No. 595 was in the 1886 catalog. But the problem was the items in the book were not listed in numerical order; they were listed by category like “brides baskets”, “casters”, “napkin rings”, etc.  And I had no clue what this was, so I started flipping through the pages.  And there it was, in the lamp section. It was a lamp base!

Following are some of the pages from the lamp section of the catalog:

Page 215

Page 215

Page 216 had my base, No. 595:

Page 216

Page 216

After “No. 595” it reads, “Enameled Copper Old Silver Mountings, $22.50, Shade Extra”.

Page 217

Page 217

Notice on Page 217 they have an “Extension Lamp”.

Page 218

Page 218

These extension lamps could be used to convert a table lamp into a floor lamp.

Page 219

Page 219

You’ll see on Page 220 below the lamp base on the extension is similar to the lamp on the right side (No. 690) except that the “feet” have been removed.

Page 220

Page 220

It is not easy to find any of these Meriden Britannia lamps these days. The mixed metals of copper and old silver in an aesthetic design are especially pleasing (to me at least).

Bird View

Bird View

Another bird view:

Bird Close-Up

Bird Close-Up

Palm frond up close:

Frond Close Up

Frond Close Up

Tiger close up:

Tiger Close-Up

Tiger Close-Up

The three dimensional palm frond and bird are held on to the sides by nuts:

Inside

Inside

View of the entire bottom:

Bottom

Bottom

Closeup of condition:

Some Wear

Some Wear

This lamp base is listed for sale on my Etsy shop:

Listed on Etsy

Listed on Etsy

Listing link:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/497942057/meriden-britannia-mixed-metal-lamp-base

Now to find the burner and the shade! Hope you found this interesting!

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This entry was posted in aesthetic, copper and silver, lamp base, Meriden Britannia, mixed metals, oil lamp and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to No. 595

  1. Ginene Nagel says:

    Absolutely stunning piece and I can’t believe that you had the catalog with it listed. I found this very interesting and respect the craftsmanship. I like the aesthetic style, don’t you? And that price! Extremely expensive at that time. This was a lamp for the wealthy.

    • queenofsienna says:

      I’m amazed it was in my catalog! I kept looking at the piece thinking it looked so familiar and when I saw the Meriden Britannia number I was hoping against hope that it was in the 1886 catalog. And it was! I do love the aesthetic style and there’s so much of it in that 1886 catalog. It’s a real feast for the eyes.

  2. KerryCan says:

    Oh, my goodness–that’s fantastic! I’d’ve guessed ice bucket, at first glance, but your usual detective skills gave us the correct answer! The detail is incredible . . .

  3. D.F.Mason says:

    not knowing, thrift store find two small oblong pure nickel dishes looked up Jos. Heinrich new york paris and now i know some history thank you

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