We wanted to share this with you in hopes that you might have seen one before. We know this is an oil lamp, but the vessel on the side is what we don’t know about. As you can see from the photo, it’s attached but seems to serve no purpose. We were thinking it’s to hold the wicks, but as I said we are not sure. Any help would be appreciated.
Tammy and Rob of Bedford
Dear Tammy and Bob,
First I want to say I had never seen an oil lamp like this until your photo. This is why I love doing what I do. It’s an education every day.
Your oil lamp is one of many. They have been around for thousands of years in one shape or form, for the purpose of lighting before we had electricity. Yours could easily be from around the early 1900s.
Without markings on them or an identifiable style, it’s hard to figure out who actually made the common ones such as this and the exact date they were made. But I will tell you that even though the style of yours is common, I had never seen what I think is a match holder and striker like on your lamp. I can’t imagine many were made because to me fire would be an issue. Putting matches together with oil would not have been a good idea — which is probably why I hadn’t see this before myself.
I did some research for you and found a few, but again, no maker — just makers of the burners and shades but not for the lamp itself. The prices were between $40 and $125. And most of what I found out was that they were rare (and we can see why). I would say the value on it is correct but may be even a little higher to a collector of oil lamps who doesn’t have one yet.
I hope you’re keeping your treasure, because oddities are always fun and a good investment in the long run. I hope you found this helpful.
Donna Welch has spent more than 20 years in the antiques and collectibles field and owns From Out Of The Woods Antique Center in Goffstown (fromoutofthewoodsantiques.com). She is an antiques appraiser and instructor. To find out about your antique or collectible, send a clear photo of the object and information about it to Donna Welch, From Out Of The Woods Antique Center, 465 Mast Road, Goffstown, N.H., 03045. Or email her at email@example.com. Or drop by the shop (call first, 624-8668).