Before electrical lamps, oil lamps had been the principal provider of lighting inside buildings during the late 19th century. In 1883, inventor Leonard Henkle devised a new kind of oil lamp which would prove more effective than the lamps which had been used to the day. Henkle figured out that if you sewed several wicks together and formed a round wick, you would be able to gain much more light from the lamp than you would from the previous square-shaped lamps. This improved lamp became known as the Rochester Lamp and became the choicest lamp of the pre-Edison era.
This piece is one of such Rochester Lamps. The oil lamp is still functional and it is a beautiful piece to adorn any room. It is decorated with colored crystals and a marvelously intricate cast iron base, which has elephant heads as the supporting legs of the lamp. A leaves and flowers pattern envelops the entire piece.