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P.O. Box 210, Planitarium Station New York City, NY 10024
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Five-Burner Sinumbra Chandelier

new
Documentation Signed
Documentation Notes Labeled on each burner
Origin United States, Massachusetts
Period 19th Century
Materials Brass, Tin, Glass
Dimensions
W. 44.25 in; H. 48 in;
W. 112.4 cm; H. 121.92 cm;
Condition Excellent. Replaced Glass globes and chimneys, surface restored to original appearance, electrified
Creation Date 1835-1845
Description EXTREMELY RARE AMERICAN LACQUERED BRASS 5-LIGHT SINUMBRA CHANDELIER
Labeled: Henry N. Hooper & Co. (active 1832-1868)
Boston, 1835-1845

The foliate canopy above four pendant patinated rods supporting a circular cast foliate ring with four satellite extension rings holding sinumbra fonts with a fifth font suspended directly below the primary ring. Each burner tube bearing a label: MANUFACTURED BY/ H.N. HOOPER & CO./ BOSTON.

H: 48" Diameter: 44¼"

CONDITION: Excellent: The brass surface has been restored to its original patinated and two-tone appearance and the fonts have been repainted to appear as original. The glass shades and chimneys are replacements. Electrified.

In his book 19th Century Elegant Lighting, Gerald T. Gowitt says, " Henry Northey Hooper (1799-1865), of Boston, Massachusetts was already winning awards for metal work in 1817 at the age of eighteen years. He won a gold metal for his exhibit of lamps listed in the catalogue of the Massachusetts Mechanics' Association First Exhibition and Fair.

Hooper is first listed in the Boston City Directory in 1823 as a mathematical instrument maker; the address is Drawbridge 48 Ann. The 1828 city directory finds Hooper a Boston Copper Company agent and two years later he is described as a "successor" to the late Company.

In 1832, he formed a partnership with William Blake and Thomas Richardson, known as Henry N. Hooper and Company. The firm specialized in metal castings and offered a wide variety of lighting devises, including Argand and sinumbra lamps and later, solar lamps and gasoliers."

The Company is known to have produced catalogs in 1850 and 1858. Because no sinumbra or Argand lamps are listed or pictured in the 1850 catalog, it would appear that Argand and sinumbra technology had been entirely supplanted by Solar and gas fixtures by that date. Candlesticks and candelabra continue to be featured as well.

Sinumbra lamps use Argand burners patented in England by Ami Argand in 1784, and differ from Argand lamps only in the design of the oil font, which is in the form of a flatted doughnut encircling the burner rather than off to one side. This improvement largely eliminated the shadow cast by the font when the lamp was lighted.

The present chandelier could replace a fixture burning about 40 candles and may be the only known American made, labeled, example of a multi-burner Sinumbra chandelier.
L-JWM-185171
Styles / Movements Classical, Traditional, William IV
Book References Gerald T. Gowitt, 19th Century Elegant Lighting: Argand, Sinumbra and Solar Lamps (Atglen: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2002), 24.
Dealer Reference Number L-JWM-185171
Incollect Reference Number 274492
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