Wedgwood Phyrophorous candle c1815

Wedgwood Phyrophorous candle c1815

  • REGENCY! Day 7 of 21, Object No.7
    A really rare English Regency period Wedgwood ‘Pyrophorous candle’ c1815 of ‘rosso antico’ . In the form of a Roman oil lamp, decorated with anthemion and laurel, this extraordinary survivor of emergent technology provided light by the combination of flammable liquids. It is mint with removable acid bowl.
    Impressed mark. Mint condition.
    UK origin c 1815
    180mm x 130mm x 80mm high
    Price inc GST $950

REGENCY! 21 examples of Regency furniture & decorative arts, (mixed with a little architecture!), to please, tease & titillate, revealed over 21 days.
2020 marks the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, and the 200th of the Prince Regent becoming King.
Regency design was produced in times of war, for pleasure.
All items for sale.
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Please dont hesitate to ask for extra images etc.
Stay clean, healthy & happy.
Beginning in 1812 orders for pyrophorus vases came in from the Wedgwood travelling salesmen. Research has revealed that these intriguing items, formerly identified in Wedgwood collections as inkwells, are actually ‘instantaneous light devices’. Until the invention of pyrophorus vases the method of creating a flame was both awkward and time-consuming. Friction and safety matches did not appear until much later in the nineteenth century, but for a short time before their development scientists were able to offer to sophisticated members of the public a convenient, spectacular way of creating a flame.

The principal ingredients of these ‘instant light-boxes’ were a sliver of wood, which had at its head a compound made from chlorate of potash and sugar; and a small glass bottle containing sulphuric acid. Frequently a small holder for a candle was also provided, which survives with this example.

When the sliver of wood was dipped into the acid and then exposed to the air sufficient heat was generated by the chemical reaction that had took place to immediately ignite it.