This pair of colza oil lamps are designed in the manner of Roman marble candelabrum as popularised by G. B. Piranesi, in his Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, 1778 and in H. Moses, Vases, Altars, Paterae, Tripods, Candelabra, Sarcophagi, etc., London, 1814. They are inspired by the celebrated Farnese tripod, which was brought to Naples in the mid-18th century and featured in R. Gargiulo, Racolta de Mumimenti Pui Intteresant Del R. Museo Barbobico, 1825 (pl.39.).
Thomas Messenger of Birmingham advertised the manufacture of 'Chandeliers, Tripods and Lamps of every description in bronze and ormolu' and opened a London branch in 1826 (E. Moncrieff, 'Argand Lamps', Antique Collector, February 1990, p. 47). A pair of Argand lamps by Thomas Messenger & Sons, incorporating similar swag-festooned urn-shaped fonts, and another with the base modelled with cranes are illustrated in Gerald T. Gowitt, 19th Century Elegant Lighting, Argand, Sinumbra and Solar Lamps, 2002, p. 129. and p. 212.