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Two Georgian bell glass hall lights sell for £90 each at Gaze's

Posted on | By Thornton Kay
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Norfolk, UK - In the architectural sale at Gaze last Saturday there were two, probably Georgian, hall lights described as ‘bulbous glass hanging lanterns’ that sold for £90 each. These were made suspended in the hallways or staircases of Georgian houses to shroud candles which lit the way from the front door to the stairs to principal rooms when guests arrived or left. types of illumination would have been smokey and liable to being blown out by the draft of the open door. A bell glass shade would protect a suspended candle holder from drafts, and the smoke protector ‘lid’ suspended several inches above the inverted bell protected the ceiling from the smoke of the candle but allowed the lighting and dowsing of the candle. Bell jars, which in essence was what these glass shades were, first appeared in scientific experiments in the later 1600s. The earliest illustrations seem to be from the early 1800s in Carlton House, but they were variously advertised as ‘hall bells’ or ’staircase bells’ in the 18th century. Bell glasses were also advertised in 18th century newspapers for horticultural use in ‘hot beds’. [Wanted: any information or illustration of how the candle was suspended inside the bowl, please - ed]

Other lots of note:

Metalwork: four plank iron scaffold board trestles sold at £100 the pair, cast iron hoppers made £7.50 each, two heavy duty 15ft rivetted steel trough galvanised £ 1,100 each (second top lots), pair of cast and wrought iron scroll and leaf pattern gates, approx 8ft opening £1,500 (top lot)

Modern composition: 25ins by 21ins three Grecian maidens and a harpist made £80 (est £25), two plaques Diana and Flora £60 (est £20), female bust £180 (est £50).

Reclaimed materials: batches of Craven & Dunnill 4ins square, terracotta red 53p each, brown 30p, black £1.42, batch of 9ins pamments £7.60 each, batch of plain nib tiles 4p each, batch of 23 hexagonal clay pavers £1.95 each,

Garden: 4ft wooden park bench £150, iron table with slate top £150, four seater strap iron bench £750 (two others similar at £950), carved stone gadrooned baluster sundial support £850, A 19th Century lead study of a boy with arms aloft holding a sundial, figure is 35'' tall, plinth 7'' £550,

Other: white glazed Royal Doulton mortuary slab on pedestal £150, eleven glazed and leaded glass internal wooden doors and one over door £460, a pair of lead peacocks with fanned tails on composition plinths originally from The Lampton Family at Newmarket sold for £1,100 (second top lot),

Next sale: Modern Design, this Saturday 2nd March
T W Gaze, Diss auctioneers

Story Type: Auction Report