A Pair Of Regency Converted Bronze Oil Lamps Attributed To Bernard Guillaume Carcel

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A Pair Of Regency Converted Bronze Oil Lamps Attributed To Bernard Guillaume Carcel

5,900.00

A superb pair of Regency bronze table lamps converted from nineteenth century oil lamps attributed to Bernard Guillaume Carcel. Finely decorated with acanthus scrolled collars, Corinthian fluted central column and fabulous lion masks on paw feet the pair of lamps retain the pump mechanism within lamp base.

H 26.5” x W 7.5”

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The Carcel lamp was an efficient lighting device used in the nineteenth century for domestic purposes and in France as the standard measure for illumination.

The lamp was invented by the French watchmaker. Bertrand Guillaume Carcel (1750–1818) to overcome the disadvantages of the Argand-type lamps then in use. The vegetable - mostly colza - oils then available were thick and would not travel far up a wick. The Argand lamps used a gravity feed which meant that the oil reservoir was located above the burner, casting a shadow and making the lamp top heavy. Carcel designed a lamp with the oil reservoir under the burner, in the body of the lamp. To keep the oil moving up to the burner, Carcel housed a clockwork mechanism in the lamp base that drove a small pump submerged in the oil tank. The winding key was located at the bottom of the lamp base.

Another innovative feature was that fuel was pumped into the wick tubes at a greater volume than was necessary for burning so that it overflowed the top of the wicks, thus cooling the burner.

The advantages Carcel claimed for his lamp in his 1800 patent in Paris were that the movement operated unattended, the oil could be used to the last drop, the lamp would stay lit for sixteen hours continuously without refilling, and it provided illumination for several persons at the same time with a single burner. (i)

Bertrand Guillaume Carcel was a French watchmaker (1750-1812). In 1800 Guillaume Carcel developed his oil lamp which used colsa oil a non-drying oil obtained from the seeds of rapeseed. The lamps worked using a suction-displacement pump driven by a clock motor, which ensures constant feeding of the wick. The Carcel lamp, considered expensive and fragile, was reserved for a wealthy clientele.

References

(i) Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcel_lamp 30th May 2019