Lucerna, ca. 1815-1870
Italian Silver; 14 ½” high
Purchased, 1961 (IL 61.4)
Before the advent of electricity, oil-burning lamps were commonly used for illumination and decoration. A portable oil lamp called lucerna in Italian, has been used since ancient times. In the early 19th century, neoclassical motifs were utilized in the designs of household furnishings, including lighting devices, such as Boscobel’s lucerna. Recent study suggests this lucerna was made in Italy. The hallmark on the reservoir – a shield with a mitre and a pair of crossed keys – is identified as an Italian Papal State hallmark which was in use in Italy from 1815 to 1870.
The lucerna can be seen in the Rear Drawing Room of Boscobel House.