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RARE Antique Atterbury Blue Log Cabin, Miniature Oil Lamp, S1-50 For Sale


RARE Antique Atterbury Blue Log Cabin, Miniature Oil Lamp, S1-50


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RARE Antique Atterbury Blue Log Cabin, Miniature Oil Lamp, S1-50:
$815

Blue Log Cabin 1323 S1-050


"RARE" Atterbury Blue LOG CABIN Night Lamp, S1-50, Ca. 1868


Atterbury LOG CABIN Miniature Oil Lamp, S1-50

About 10 1/8" tall to top of chimney

About 3 1/4" tall to top of collar

About 4 3/4" wide from edge of handle to front of cabin

About 2 3/4" wide from side to side




















Blue Log Cabin Miniature Oil Lamp

Smaller of two sizes made

S1-50

Rated "Rare"

Manufactured by Atterbury & Company, Pittsburgh, Ca. 1868

Old pie-crust top chimney glows under "black light"

Patent-dated Taplin-Brown collar

Unmarked Prong and Hinge Burner

Some denting on collar; otherwise excellent condition

Lamp Manufactured According to 1868 Patent

Background & History: On June 30, 1868, U. S. Patent Number 79,298 was issued to James and Thomas Atterbury of Pittsburgh, PA. The patent was for a process by which glassware with handles could be manufactured with the handles an integral part of the molding process. Prior to the Atterburys' invention, handles on glassware were applied to the article by skilled craftsmen after the article was blown or molded. Atterburys' patent described a 4-part mold (divided in half both horizontally and vertically). The handle was contained primarily in the lower half of the mold. First, the lower half of the mold was closed and molten glass was poured into the section in which the handle was formed. The glass maker then placed a ball of hot glass into the part of the mold which was to form the font, placed the top half of the mold over the bottom and blew the glass into the remainder of the mold. This created a hollow font to which was attached a solid handle. A byproduct of this process was that there was an extra thick glob of glass on the inside of the font where the handle was attached. The presence of this glob of glass on the inside of the font has become a critical element in distinguishing original old Atterbury lamps from reproductions.

This transparent blue glass Log Cabin lamp was made by Atterbury & Company using the process described in the patent. The company made the lamp in two different sizes (this is the smaller size; the larger one is about 3/8" taller [to top of collar] and about 1" wider [from handle edge to front of cabin]) and in several different colors of glass (clear, amber, blue, white milk glass, blue opaline, white opaline and pink opaline). There have been reproductions of this lamp. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to distinguish the reproductions from the old authentic lamps. The web-site of the Night Light Club (at provides a detailed description of how to tell the reproductions from the originals. The easiest method, however, is to look for or (in the case of an opaque glass lamp) feel the glob of glass on the inside behind the handle and to see that there is no "candy ribbon" flourish at the base of the handle. A "candy ribbon" flourish is created when a glass handle is applied after the item is made. The flourish is the way the glass maker finishes off the applied handle and the reproductions all have this flourish while the originals do not.

This lamp has a dated brass "Taplin-Brown" collar which is embossed "PATD APR 13 1875 MCH 21 1876".(See the seventh photo). These dates refer to two patents issued on those dates (one to George Brown and one to Alvin Taplin) relating to the process used to stamp the collars from sheet brass.The Brown patent is reproduced in the appendix to the first Smith book. According to Thuro ("Oil Lamps: The Kerosene Era in North America") these patents were assigned to the Bristol Brass & Clock Co. Thuro notes that the company probably stamped the dates on the collars for only a "few years after the 1876 patent date." (Both patents can be found at www.google.com/patents by searching for patent numbers 161,912 and 175,022; to find the original Atterbury patent search for 79,208). This lamp also has an unmarked Prong and Hinge burner marked.

The lamp comes with a clear glass "pie-crust" (i.e., crimped) top chimney. The fact that this chimney glows, or fluoresces, under "black" light (see the last photo) indicates (as explained in the note below) that the chimney itself is antique (made sometime before World War I).

Condition of this lamp: This example of the Log Cabin is in fine condition with no discernible chips, cracks or other damage.

The old brass hardware on this lamp has been polished. The dated collar has no splits or cracks but is dented in a couple of spots (it looks like someone attempted to remove this collar with a pliers); see the eigth photo. The collar is firmly attached to the font. The burner is also in fine condition; the unmarked thumb wheel easily adjusts the wick that is in this lamp.

As mentioned above, the lamp comes with an antique pie-crust top chimney. The bottom edge of the chimney is fire polished. The chimney does have one unburst bubble in the glass but no flea-bites, chips or cracks.

In the 2006 edition of the "Price Guide for Miniature Lamps", Hulsebus rated the blue glass glass versions of these lamps as being "rare" (see the note below on our use of these ratings in items). Over the past 16 years, we've seen just 23 undamaged examples of these blue log cabin lamps offered on . That equates to one of these lamps showing up on only about once every year and a half. More than just availability, the Hulsebus rating is intended to convey that this lamp is considered quite desirable by collectors. Dating back to 1868 (just three years after the end of the Civil War) this is one of the earliest kerosene night lamps.

About the Use of Words Like "Scarce" and "Rare"

When we see listings which utilize words like "Scarce" and "Rare"--especially when those words are applied to items that we know to be extra-ordinarily common we find it disturbing. We realize that some ers, not having or knowing of a better way of assessing an item's scarcity, use these terms quite subjectively and frequently based on their own personal experience.They simply don't know whether an item is common, scarce or rare. We take two steps to describe the scarcity of a lamp.

First, we only use the words "Scarce", "Rare", "Very Rare", "Very Very Rare" and "Extremely Rare" if the item in question is judged to be so by an acknowledged outside and independent source. For miniature lamps, we use the ratings in Marjorie Hulsebus 2006 edition of the "Price Guide for Miniature Lamps". Marjorie's ratings are also somewhat subjective (they are based on the collective view of a panel of 12 experienced miniature lamps collectors--we were members of that panel), but were at least arrived at independently of the sale or offering of any particular lamp. We don't always agree with the Price Guides ratings but if we disagree, we will still quote the guide's rating and then provide the reason why we don't agree.

Second, since June of 2002, we have collected and recorded data on the offering of over 59,000 listed miniature lamps on and over 5,700 lamps offered at selected live sales (ones which we attended or from which we were able to get reliable data). We have reviewed tens of thousands of new items; from among those, we identify those that are listed in the standard reference books and record basic information (identifying features, condition, sale end-date, etc.) on each one. When the sale ends we go back and record whether it sold or not and for how much. We keep all of this data in an online database and make the database available free of charge to members of the Night Light Club and to others who have requested access. We don't see every listed miniature lamp that's offered on , but we estimate that we see more than 85-90% of them. When we quote the Price Guide's scarcity rating for a given lamp, we generally also provide information, from our database, on the number of times during the period we've collected data that we've seen that lamp offered on . And it's this data that allows us to substantiate, refine or, at times, to respectfully disagree with the rating in the Price Guide.

Fluorescence in Old Clear Glass

Manganese dioxide (MnO2), found naturally as the mineral Pyrolusite, was used by by glass makers, as far back as ancient Egyptian and Roman times and up until about 1915, as a decolorizing agent in order to make clear, colorless glass. The natural material used to make glass contains iron impurities. These impurities impart a coke-bottle green (and sometimes brown) color to the glass. Manganese dioxide, added to the molten glass mixture, neutralizes the coloring effects of the iron impurities. Adding manganese to glass has a side-effect of which we doubt old glass makers were aware. While not itself fluorescent, manganese activates fluorescence in other elements or compounds. Clear glass which has had manganese dioxide added to it will glow with a green or yellow-green color when viewed under long wave ultra-violet ("black") light. This fluorescence turns out to be a useful test of the age of clear glass. The United States does not have large amounts of naturally occurring Pyrolusite; the mineral has to be imported from places like the Ukraine, South Africa, Brazil, Australia and China. After the outbreak of World War I in Europe, manganese became increasingly hard to get; first, it was considered a strategic war material (it is essential to iron and steel production) and, second, the normal supplies lines were disrupted by the war. And, so, after about 1915, U. S. glass makers switched to other decolorizing agents (e.g. selenium and arsenic oxides). Thus, clear glass which fluoresces (glows) under ultra-violet ("black") light can be presumed to have been made before 1915. [Incidentally, manganese dioxide is also the compound responsible for the "sun-purpling" of old clear glass; when exposed to short-wave ultra-violet light (present in sun-light, or in germicidal lamps) over an extended period of time, the manganese dioxide will impart a purplish color to the glass. It has been reported that unscrupulous antique dealers (especially in the Southwestern U. S.) would intentionally expose old glass to the intense desert sun (or to ultra-violet germicidal lamps) to create this purple color. Purists among glass collectors consider this to be a travesty and believe that intentional or artificial sun-purpling decreases, rather than enhances, the value of old glass items.]

[Note that is can be quite challenging to get an accurate (i.e., that looks the same as what one sees with their eyes) photograph of the fluorescence in the glass. We work hard to get a photograph that looks like what we see, but there is usually some minor discrepancy either in the exact color or amount of the fluorescence. Should you examine a fluorescent lamp under black light, in a darkened environment, it will glow, but may not look exactly like the photograph we provided.]

All rights reserved.

The contents of this listing are protected by U. S. copyright laws and by policy. The use of substantial portions of this listing verbatim or with only inconsequential changes without the express written consent of the authors is prohibited. Such use, at the discretion of the authors, may be reported to as being in violation of policies. Please contact us if you wish to use any portion of this listing in your own listings or for other purposes.

Our objective is to have happy, satisfied customers. We will work with you to satisfactorily resolve any problems. Feel free to ask any questions prior to offerding. We try to answer all questions promptly. Just click on 's "Ask seller a question" link above to send us an email through .

Please offer only if you intend to honor your offer with payment. All items are sold "As Is". We do our best to describe all items accurately. However, mistakes and oversights can occur. Returns will be accepted within 7 days if item is found to be not as described. In general refunds will be given as money back and will include the original offer amount and initial shipping costs (but not the return shipping cost). Refunds will be given once the item is received and verified to be in the same condition as when it was sold.

Shipping Information

's shipping calculator should show the correct shipping charges. We charge only the actual postage/insurance costs incurred. We do combine multiple purchases to save you on shipping costs. If you win more than one of our items, contact us for revised and reduced shipping costs. If you overpay for shipping, or if we inadvertently overcharge you for shipping, we will refund the overage. (If we underestimate the shipping costs, which occasionally happens, we absorb the additional costs). We ship using the United States Postal Service and wrap our items as securely as we can. All items shipped are insured. Insurance is included in shipping costs.

Information for International Buyers

International buyers not using Paypal, please use a form of payment denominated in U.S. dollars. We generally ship items internationally using either the United States Postal Services "Global Priority Mail" or "First Class International" mail, depending on the size and value of the shipment. If we can ship the item for less than the quoted shipping price, we will notify you and refund any overpayment. We mark international shipments as "antique" (when the item is in fact an antique) since most countries do not levy import tariffs on antique items. Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost.These charges are the buyer's responsibility. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to offerding or buying. Please also note that the receiving country's Custom Service may cause delays in item's arrival.

Interested in learning more about miniature lamps? Want to meet other miniature lamp collectors? Contact us and we'll arrange to get you information about joining the Night Light Club.

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