Background & History: This very small blue milk glass night lamp is shown in Figure 176 of Frank & Ruth Smith's book "Miniature Lamps". Unfortunately neither the Smiths nor any of our other references provide any additional background information about this little lamp. It is obviously a close relative of the lamp shown in Figure 177 of the Smith book. That lamp is known variously as the "Leon's Ribbed", "Quarter-Dollar Leader" and the "Lighthouse". Both lamps came in the same three colors: ivory (white milk glass), blue milk glass and custard glass.
They both have identical chimney-shades and they are both just about the same size. The difference between the two lamps is strictly in the base. This lamp has a ribbed base shaped somewhat like a turban squash.
The "Leon's Ribbed" lamp has a slightly taller base with an indentation below the shoulder and is embossed with large and small diamond-shaped projections, or ribs. We know from an old wholesaler's catalog cited by the Smiths that the Leon's Ribbed lamp was offered for sale in 1894.
Thus we believe that this lamp also dates to about 1894. Note that Hulsebus, in her first book ("Miniature Victorian Lamps") shows this same lamp (in Figure 305), in blue milk glass with both the shade and base partially encased in metal filigree. The lamp is a lovely light blue color and has a high gloss finish. Interestingly, in some light the color of the lamp tends toward green, while in other light it tends to look more blue. Miniature oil, or night lamps with matching shades of the mid 1890s and beyond tended to be somewhat larger than this lamp (typically about 8" tall and 4" or so in width).
We think this lamp's unusually small size (about 5 7/8" tall by 2 3/4" wide) for its time makes it especially appealing. Condition of this lamp: This lamp is in very good condition.There is a single small (about 3/32" in diameter) "nick or bruise on the side of the font (see the fifth photo). The brass hardware is in excellent condition.
The collar is securely attached to the font and has no splits or cracks. An Acorn burner, marked "THE P & A MFG CO ACORN" screws tightly into the collar. The thumb wheel easily adjusts the wick that is in this lamp. During the same time period and among the same 62,000+ lamps, we have seen just 20 examples of this little lamp, and of those, only 8 were made of blue milk glass. Thus this little lamp is significantly harder to find than its sister lamp and we think that makes it an unusual find.
About the Use of Words Like "Scarce" and "Rare". We realize that some eBayers, 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 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.The contents of this listing are protected by U. The use of substantial portions of this listing verbatim or with only inconsequential changes without the express written consent of the authors is prohibited. Our objective is to have happy, satisfied customers. We will work with you to satisfactorily resolve any problems. We try to answer all questions promptly. We do our best to describe all items accurately. However, mistakes and oversights can occur. 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? Please check out our other auctions. The item "SCARCE Antique Opaque Blue Miniature Oil Lamp, with Ribbed Base, S1-176" is in sale since Monday, November 5, 2018. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Lamps, Lighting\Lamps\ Non-Electric\Miniature". The seller is "kayschwartz" and is located in Stockton, New Jersey. This item can be shipped worldwide.