Pair of Patinated William IV Bronze Colza-Oil Lamps In The Form of a Dolphin-Headed Rhyton *SOLD*


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Pair of Patinated William IV Bronze Colza-Oil Lamps In The Form of A Dolphin-Headed Rhyton Attributed to Thomas Messenger & Sons, Birmingham. The detachable reservoir with leaf-cast decoration centred with a berried finial within a gadrooned border, over a tapered, reeded and fluted font to a dolphin-head support with bulrushes and, an applied acanthus loop handle, the circular spreading base of seashells and aquatic fauna; the dolphin’s mouth issuing the argand-device, a drip reservoir and a platform supporting the etched glass tulip-shades. These table lamps are designed in 'antique' Grecian bronze fashion and suggest the deity Venus which is here represented by a spouting dolphin on plinth bases similar to an engraving by Piranesi in his Vasi of 1778.

England, circa 1835

Height: 24 cm Length: 32 cm 

Thomas Messenger and Sons, of whom the chasing of this pair of lamps is particularly characteristic, were primarily lighting manufacturers with a metal foundry in Birmingham, opening a branch in London in 1826. The firm commenced as manufacturers of metal furniture mounts, and traded from 1826-27 as 'Manufacturers of Chandeliers, Tripods and Lamps, of every description in bronze and ormolu' (E. Moncrieff, 'Argand Lamps', Antique Collector, February 1990, p. 47).

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