Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

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Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by genden70 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:07 pm

Just an observation. Coming to fairy lamp collecting fairly recently, I have observed that there are more surviving fairy size three piece fairy lamps than three piece pyramid size fairy lamps. I have not seen a webb cameo pyramid three piece lamp, but I am sure some of you have one or more in your collection. I have seen half a dozen or so decorated burmese pyramid size three piece lamps, a couple of undecorated burmese pyramid lamps and several pyramid menu holder burmese lamps. I actually have two of the pyramid menu holder burmese lamps in my small collection. I have seen a dozen or so pyramid size nailsea three piece lamps. I have one in my collection. Most of the pyramid shades I have seen are in a clarke cup or in a pottery base--such as Taylor Tunnicliffe. Some pyramid shades are on a matching pedestal base. Does anyone know if there were fewer three piece pyramid lamps made or if they didn't survive as well as the fairy size? In checking the Clarke catalogue pages, there don't seem to be many pyramid size shown. The wee size are extremely scarce. I have never seen a three piece in wee size, though I suspect they exist. Genene

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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by cadking on Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:47 pm

One of the reasons I believe that there are more Fairy sized multi-piece lamps is that they were made longer than the other sizes as well as being designed for more of a utilitarian purpose than the other two sizes which were more decorative than the larger of the lamps. As you note, the most common multi-piece pyramid size lamps are the menu holders which, like their larger brother, had a utilitarian purpose also.
You are correct in thinking that Clarke did have multi-piece Wee lamps made. I have seen a Wee example of R-673. It took some looking (I have 1000's of photos of fairy lamps), but I managed to find the photo of the Wee and Pyramid lamp examples next to each other.



One of the things that everyone needs to be remembered about the Wee size lamps is that they could not burn the standard candles which was the whole reason for Clarke to make the lamps. The Wee size lamps take a different base and dome (which is obvious) but it also takes a different size candle cup and candle. These are even harder to find than the Wee lamp domes and bases combined.

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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by cadking on Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:54 pm

Another Wee size lamp is the example shown as R-496 that also shows that potery bases were also made in the Wee size lamp. What I have never seen (and I do not claim to have seen it all) is a multi-shade Wee example. If anyone has a photo of an example, I would sure love to have it for my photo collection.

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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by genden70 on Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:10 pm

Thank you for the photos. Fascinating. Just when I think I have a handle on the range of victorian fairy lamps, something new pops up.

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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by cadking on Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:46 am

Something else that I have never seen (and again, I don't claim to have seen everything), is a box of candles for the Wee-Fairy lamps. I checked the Club web page, and all the boxs there are for the Cricklite, Pyramid and Fairy size lamps. Does anyone have a candle box for the Wee lamps? It would be interesting to see how many candles came to a box, how long they were designed to burn, etc... Since the lamps were so uncommon, I'm sure the candles would be just as hard to find. What say you?

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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by genden70 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:33 pm

I don't have any wee size candles, but ran across an interesting article that tells how many were in a box, how long they burned, etc. The article can be found at www.justoldglass.org/articles/inhouse/fairy.html The article was written by Roger Winzeler for the Glass Collector's Digest. Genene

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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by cadking on Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:23 am

I would be interested to know where this information was found. I would like to do more digging into the Wee lamps, but with all my efforts, I still come up short. This article makes it sould like the lamp, base, candle cup and 11 candles all came in one box as a set. Is that the way you read the article? Thanks again, any information is great information.

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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by genden70 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:58 am

I don't know anything about Roger Winzeler other than he says he is a fairy lamp collector. I don't even know when this article was published. Maybe someone will know him and he can provide more information. It does sound to me like the set was eleven candles and a candle cup. Genene

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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:30 pm

I asked Roger if he had any photos of the Wee candles in their box. While he did not have any photos of Wee candles, his reply provided some valuable insight into his research. Below is his reply:

    This morning, I have gone through my notes, slides, photo copies, etc., of Webb Burmese. Had I come across any Wee Fairy Lamps with Webb Burmese while doing research in London, I would have a copy. Unfortunately, I can't help you in the least. I pretty much skipped over Clarke's other advertisements if Webb Burmese wasn't pictured or mentioned.

    I recall looking through the Pottery Gazette at Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I selected a table ND seat number, asked for issues from the 1880's and 1890's, and waited until a library worker rolled out on a cart bigger than your dining room table stacked high with the Pottery Gazette. The car was in a space that needed the parking meter fed and fed frequently. My friend and I furiously leafed through the early issues taking notes and writing down the magazine dates where Webb Burmese was mentioned. Not getting through even partial stack of the Pottery Gazette, I meekly told the attendant I was through. The V & A does not make copies or allow photographing.

    The Newspaper Museum also had copies of the Pottery Gazette. There at the Newspaper Museum you could request copies, photos, and slides. This is where my Webb Burmese library reference and material came from. The supplement to the Pottery Gazette had colored advertisements of fairy lamps by Clarke. Being interested primarily in Webb Burmese, I only had slides made of the fairy lamp advertisements that featured Webb Burmese. These advertisements, of the ones I came across, never had a Wee Fairy Lamp. I think the Newspaper Museum is now part of the BIG new museum built recently and I haven't been there.

    No, I don't have any Wee Fairy Lamp candles nor even copies of advertisements mentioning Wee Fairy. When I had my Webb Burmese glass collection, I only had four pressed glass Wee Fairy bases, never had a Webb Burmese dome. I carried around to antique fairs (shows) one of the press glass bases, found a green sherry glass that fit the base and had the green sherry glass cut to make a Wee Fairy dome. The proportions were right, the green sherry glass made a good dome, nothing looked out of place.

    Good luck finding a Wee Fairy candle.
    Roger Winzeler
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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by cadking on Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:37 pm

I have been very lucky in my travels, as was my father, we both found a Wee candle cup with a Wee candle in it. I hate to say it (not really), but mine was the better of the two. (No, neither of them is for sale). The reason I say mine was better, is that you can still see the writing around the top of the candle. I says "CLARKES - WEE FAIRY" with Clarke’s arching over the top and Wee Fairy arcing across the bottom, much like the image in the bottom of the base of the lamps. I have added a photo below showing the difference in size between the standard Fairy Lamp parts and the Wee Fairy Lamp parts.


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Re: Victorian pyramid size fairy lamps

Post by cadking on Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:47 pm

After closely looking at the Clarkes advertisement that just ended on ebay, I think I figured out where the number of candles came in a box (of course it doesn’t say Wee candles). The other thing that I find interesting is you could get two different candles depending on how long you wanted them to burn. The advertisement says that 6 hour burning candles came 10 to a box with a glass (candle cup?), or 10 hour burning candles came six in a box with glass. The add comes from ebay number 28421705 if you want to see all the photos and didn't see it when it was on auction. I hope the page shows up in the photo below also.


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