Well placed in Tyne & Wear to receive a number of miners’ safety lamps from the old Durham and Northumberland coalfields, Boldon Auction Galleries (17.5% buyer’s premium) was presented with something of a mystery in the form of the lamp pictured here.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Terence Ryle
Marked Usworth Washington with the maker’s name T Crake, the 9in (23cm) brass four-bar lamp appears to have been the work of a craftsman producing lamps only for the pits at the Co Durham village first opened in 1845 and closed in 1974.
The only record of Crake appears to be one sold in the US on eBay some years ago described as a Clanny lamp after William Clanny (1776-1850), an undeservedly neglected pioneer of miners’ lamps.
Probably mid 19th century, the lamp offered at East Boldon on October 30 bore striking likenesses to Clanny’s later lamps, particularly the ‘bonnet’ top.
Recognised as rare and unusual, it was estimated at £300-500 and sold to a collector at £1900.