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S, I have this early telegraph insulator I think. I am

Hi Robert S , I...
Hi Robert S , I have this early telegraph insulator I think. I am guessing it is highly collectible. The glass looks like it was molded into the wood. The design is unusual and I have not seen any like it. The piece measures 5 1/2 inches tall, 2 inches wide and 2 inches deep. This is a tough one and any help would be great.Regards Jeremy
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Answered in 9 hours by:
12/13/2017
Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 6,491
Experience: Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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Hi Jeremy,

This is another interesting one! Leave this with me and I'll see what I can find.

Many thanks,
Robert.

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Hi Jeremy,

I haven't forgotten you, I'm still working on this. It's an obscure one, for sure.

Robert.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No rush... if I come up with more I will let you know... Merry Christmas if I don't hear from you before then

Thanks! And the same to you and yours.

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Hi Jeremy,

I took the liberty of running your photos past Howard Banks (privately of course) who manages the "Crown Jewels of the Wire" website.

I got a reply back saying he'd not seen anything like it, but was intrigued and asked if he could use the pictures in his on line magazine to see if any of their readers can shed some light. Do you want me to go ahead and give him permission to use your photos, or do you want to keep it under wraps for now? It's entirely up to you and I would quite understand your decision either way.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Go ahead send them off to him. My wild guess is this was attached to a building and not a pole. I sold a rare wood cap insulator to a major collector here in mass. I will try and track him down. Thank you

Thanks, I'll pass them on.

I think you're right about it being attached to a building. There are quite similar spool or 'saddle' glass insulators used for lightning conductors, but nothing exactly like this where it's inlaid into the wood itself.

I remember the wood cap insulator! You got over $3000 for it if I remember rightly.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I believe we can close the case on this one. Showed the pictures to Dario D. It is a glass insert for the rope on the counter weight on old hung windows. Less expensive than the pulley system at the time apparently.

Yes! That's exactly what it is. I didn't know they ever used glass instead of the usual pulley, but it makes sense during the pre-industrial era in America when most hardware like that had to be imported from Europe. There's no telling how old that piece of glass is. It could be 18th century.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
How do you put a price on this one anybodies guess... wonderful piece of architectural salvage. Don't forget to set it up so I can rate you.. Have a great Christmas

I've been scouring the archives to see if anything like this has ever come up for sale and can find nothing. Substitute for a sash window pulley it may be, but it truly seems to be a very rare item. One can buy the standard metal pulley equivalent for a around $5.00 and they are freely available on line everywhere. I think you should be able to get at least $100 for such an oddity, especially from those interested in industrial glass in general, rather than just insulator collectors.

You too have a great Christmas! I'm going to enjoy putting my feet up for a bit, hope you do too!

Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 6,491
Experience: Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
Verified
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