18th Century Lanterns

Extant 18th century lanterns and 18th century depictions of lanterns are available on this page. (Links to lanterns from the Middle Ages and Renaissance are available elsewhere on this site.)

  • 18th century tin lanterns at the MFA: 28.28, 28.36, 28.37, 28.38, 28.311
  • A wooden lantern from Aberdeenshire; “The rectangular lantern has a sloping top and horn windows on three sides, with a door on the fourth side. It is bound all round with leather and a tab of leather, fixed to the door with studs, serves as a handle. There is a handle of twisted cord.”
  • Antique Investments 1640, a colonial hand-lantern with eight-sided tapered globe
  • A brass lantern dated 1750, associated with the Fairbairns of Cockburnspath, East Lothain; “It may have been used to warn vessels from the rocks at Cove in East Lothian. The lantern has horn windows and is engraved 'P FAIRBAIRN COVE 1750'. There is a lighthouse and a sailing galley incised on each of the four partitions of the frame and a design of scallops and stars on the horizontal bands.”
  • Hanes and Ruskin Y143; “This amazing lantern consists of an engraved glass inserted into a tin frame. Made on the Continent (20 years ago we bought a similar example, or maybe even this very one, in France) in the mid to late 18th century. It is in completely original condition, including the insert to hold a candle with its crimped bobeche and long handle so your fingers don't get burnt.”
  • Met 34.100.188, a tin lantern with horn panes, made in Pennsylvania c. 1770
  • Met 39.184.48a-d, a wall lantern in bronze with glass panes, made in England c. 1770
  • A tin lantern from Orkney, late 18th or early 19th century; “The cylindrical candle lantern has been painted green. It has a hinged door on one side, a conical top and scalloped cap with a handle linked through it. The windows are made of sheet mica, and form three rows of panes. The top row is ornamented.”
  • Historic New England 1991.985, possibly c. 1780-1820; “Wood frame with chamfered and notched uprights and square chamfered edge on the top and bottom; holds four rectangular panes of glass; the top has a shaped opening and is fitted with a pierced tin panel and a wire handle; the upright post projects through the top and bottom; one side has cotter-pin hinges and a loop wire.”
  • Manchester 1922.774, c. 1800; “Lantern made with iron fittings with ridged glass cylinder. The iron lid is pierced in two monotype patterns. Small round, fluted candle-holder lifts out by means of a long handle and hook.”
  • The Met has a few American punched-tin lanterns dated to the 18th or 19th centuries; see 10.125.599a, 10.125.599c, and 10.125.600

Depictions of lanterns