Crown Tuscan Nautilus Lamp

by Mark Nye
Issue 344, December 2001

A member from Minnesota wrote to me some time ago regarding a lamp in her possession. The base of the lamp is a Crown Tuscan No. 1130 11-inch vase. This vase is a larger version of the nine inch vase illustrated on a 1934 supplemental Catalog page showing the Nautilus line. (The larger vase is pictured decorated with D1007-8 in a 1933 Catalog supplement.) As part of the lamp, the Nautilus vase sits on a gold colored metal base, approximately 1/2 inch in height. According to the owner, where the vase joins the metal base are some small bead-like pieces of metal. The same treatment appears at the top of the vase where the actual lighting fixture is attached. The cord enters the lamp through a hole in the metal base as well as a hole that has been drilled into the vase and then runs up through a rod in the center of the vase. The shade shown in the photograph is not the original shade, nor did the current owner ever have the original shade. No doubt the original shade would have been typical of the period, mid- to late-1930's.

Since Crown Tuscan was not introduced until 1932, and the vase first appeared in 1933, the Nautilus lamp was probably not made until at least 1934. It may have been made later, but no doubt before 1940 as the vase is not shown in the 1940 Catalog. As to who assembled the lamp, we may never know. Hopefully, someday we will find a lamp company catalog showing the various lamps using Cambridge glass as their bases. It is the author's opinion that the Nautilus lamp was made to not only take advantage of the popularity of Crown Tuscan, but also to compete, in a small way, with the Aladdin Company who had a color very similar to Crown Tuscan. (The two colors were developed by the same man, Henry Hellmers, who also did similar colors for other companies).

Nautilus Lamp

[NOTE (Jan 2005): Below you will find a closeup and an overall photograph of a similar Crown Tuscan Nautilus lamp, with a slightly different base, but otherwise pretty much the same as the one shown in the original Crystal Ball photographs above. Again, the shade is not original, and no further information was found regarding the manufacturer.]

Nautilus Lamp Nautilus Lamp