Designer / Maker
Probably after a design by George Bullock (?-1818)
The manufacture attributed to W. & S. Summers
Ormolu and painted glass (one pane restored and two with cracks)
106.7 x 44.5 cm (width)
English (London), circa 1815
[…]; with Harris Lindsay, 2006
The present lantern can be compared to a design by George Bullock preserved in the ‘Tracings by Thomas Wilkinson, from the Designs of the late Mr George Bullock 1820’, an album now in the collection of the City Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, M.3.74, p. 162 (see below).
In 1818, ‘W. S. Summers’ is listed at 105 New Bond Street (just round the corner from Bullock’s own workshop in Tenterden Street), as ‘furnishing ironmongers’; see Johnstone’s London Commercial Guide, and Street Directory, 1818. On an account for Shrublands, Suffolk, the firm is called ‘W. and S. Summers / Stove and Lamp Manufacturers’; their headed notepaper incorporates a Bullock-like thyrsus, centred with a bacchic mask. The connection between Bullock and Summers is documented by a letter in the Tew Archive, and Summers was also a buyer at the Bullock ‘Stock-in-Trade’ sale, 1819; see Martin Levy, ‘George Bullock’s Partnership with Charles Fraser, 1813–1818, and the Stock-in-Trade Sale, 1819, Furniture History, XXV (1989), pp. 153–54.
In addition to Bullock-like metalwork at Tew Park (see, for example, Clive Wainwright et. al., George Bullock: Cabinet-Maker, London, 1988, no. 31), there are fenders and a lantern at Gorhambury, Hertfordshire, where Bullock and his frequent collaborator, the architect William Atkinson (circa 1773–1839), both worked. There is also a fender at a house in Scotland, where Bullock supplied furniture to Mrs Robert Ferguson; see Wainwright, op. cit., no. 22. It is possible that, in the late 1820s, Summers supplied cast-iron chandeliers for George IV at Windsor Castle; see Phoebe Stanton, Pugin, London, 1971, p. 195.
The lantern supplied by Bullock for Napoleon’s use on St Helena has a similar underside to the present example; see Martin Levy, Napoleon in Exile, Leeds, 1998, p. 105, no. 34 and fig. 59. Another, with the same underside and‘crown’ was formerly at Burg Rheinstein; see Celina Fox, ed., London – World City 1800–1840, New Haven and London, 1992, no. 319. A third lantern of related form is in a London private collection.
The design of the present lantern, with its gothic lancet window panels, varies from those cited above. The painted decoration recalls, throughout, Bullock’s flat pattern ornament recorded in the ‘Wilkinson Tracings’.