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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5772
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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I have a tin lantern used ships. From what I have researched

Customer Question

I have a tin lantern used for navigating ships. From what I have researched it came from the USS Columbus built in 1774 or the USS Columbus built in 1819. It is marked COLUMBUS on the front of lantern. One glass is green the other is gold or red. Is this a rare find?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 1 year ago.

Hi! My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help with your interesting old lantern.

Thanks for the helpful photos, I can see exactly what you have. Despite the ship's wheel motif at the top, the design of the lantern itself, and its case, doesn't fit those that would have been carried on 18th or early 19th century ships. The association with USS Columbus is just a coincidence of a common name.

Also, its construction isn't robust enough to withstand exterior use in ocean going conditions or to withstand violent storms at sea. Riding lights (ship's navigational lights) have much thicker glass, are completely enclosed, and are made of a more corrosive resistant metal such as bronze secured with heavy gauge bolts.

Your lamp dates to the late 1800s or early 1900s and would have been used as a porch light or portable yard light, in a domestic setting where the maritime decorative theme would have been appropriate.

Lamp collectors don't seem to have traced this lamp to a particular maker, but it does turn up on the secondary market (auctions and on line, etc.,) from time to time.

This example for instance, sold recently on eBay for $40 which is about representative for one of these. I would give yours an eBay or auction value in the range of $35 - $60.

It therefore has a full retail value (if you saw it for sale in an antique store) of about $120. This is also the replacement value for insurance purposes.

I do hope this helps.

Best wishes,

PS. If there's anything more I can help you with on this, please don't hesitate to ask. If not, could you very kindly rate my services (with the stars or "accept" button) as this is how I get paid by JustAnswer at no extra cost to you. We can still continue to communicate here on this thread after you do. And if you have another item you'd like to ask me about, just start a new Question and put "For Robert S....." in the subject line. Thanks, R.