A Silver-Plated Argand

Birmingham, England
Circa 1790
Attributed to Matthew Boulton

This elegant silver-plated argand represents one of the first examples of the collaboration between Ami Argand and Matthew Boulton to create a revolutionary form of artificial illumination to eclipse candlepower. The elliptical urn-shaped body is ornamented with a pair of delicately scrolled wire handles and rests on a rectangular plinth with reeded sides. The lamp still retains its original drop-in burner. In 1790, Gouverneur Morris of New York purchased fourteen nearly identical lamps for Mount Vernon at George Washington’s request while in London.

Reference: Wolfe, John J. Brandy, Ballons, & Lamps, Ami Argand, 1750–1803. Carbondale and Edwardsville, Illinois, Southern Illinois University Press, 1999. page 150, plate 1014.

Silver fused to copper, tin, and glass
Height: 12 ¾” Width: 9” Depth: 4 ½”

Back to Archive