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Pair of Sinumbra Lamps

A work made of gilded brass, bronze, and glass.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gilded brass, bronze, and glass.


c. 1827–31


Cornelius and Company (American, 1839–1851)

About this artwork

This type of lighting device, popularly referred to as a sinumbra (without shadow) lamp, was conceived to help reduce the shadows created by the more elaborate Argand lamp. American firms such as Cornelius and Company may have created sinumbra lamps, perhaps modeled after French examples, in order to compete with European imports. Replete with classically inspired decoration, this pair of lamps would have been used in a fashionable domestic parlor.


On View, Gallery 172


Arts of the Americas


Cornelius and Company (Maker)


Pair of Sinumbra Lamps


Philadelphia (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1827–1831


Gilded brass, bronze, and glass


H.: 51.4 cm (20 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Mrs. Herbert A. Vance

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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