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Important Coffin Family of Nantucket Candle Lantern.....SOLD
Nantucket, ca. 1750. Unusual construction likely influenced by needs aboard whaling vessels. Pine with natural surface and sensational occluded wavy glass. In addition to the rare "diamond" window form, this lantern is further elevated by BOLD DOVETAILS, and a door that opens from the back. Dovetails are tightened by reinforcing ROSE HEAD NAILS, while the glass is held by tiny forged brads. The door retains its original snipe hinges and tin latch. The top retains the original tinned-iron vent. Condition is very good with several character-adding period repairs including an early wire closure of a crack on the door, and a tin sheet across the inner top of the door held by early nails. The hanging hole in the backboard is more typical of that seen on wallboxes, not lanterns, indicating a wall mount. About 14 inches tall x 5 3/4 wide x 5 1/2 deep. Until recently, this lantern had not left the prominent Coffin family of Nantucket. The Coffins were a group of whalers operating out of Nantucket from the 17th to 19th centuries. Tristram Coffin (ca. 1609-1681) came to Massachusetts from England. In 1659 he led a group of investors that bought Nantucket from Thomas Mayhew for thirty pounds and two beaver hats. He became a prominent citizen of the settlement. A great number of his descendants also became prominent citizens, and many were involved in the later history of Nantucket during and after its heyday as a whaling center. Almost all notable Americans with roots in Nantucket are descended from Tristram Coffin.
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