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Serpentine Lighthouses.

These lovely Cornish serpentine stone lighthouses. See if you have a similar one here.

Comments, if any are under the row of lighthouses. No.1 will refer to the first left and No.4 to the last right. You can guess that No.2 is left of centre and No.3 is right of centre.


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Nos. 1 and 2 are quite large. No. 2 has 'Eddystone' carved into the base. The stump of Smeaton's Tower is to put matches in. No. 3 is the Lizard lighthouse made at the Lizard. Notice that the shape is octagonal and therefore could not be turned on a lathe. This model required all the lapidary skills of a jeweller and stone cutter to make this.

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No.3 was made by the Cornish Stone Co. Ltd. and is rich red in colour. No.4 is another Eddystone with a compass inserted into the stump of Smeaton's Tower. The rocks are carved and there are steps carved out of the rock leading to the lighthouse.

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No.1 is another Cornish Stone Co. Ltd. No.4 is light brown in colour.

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No.2 has 'Lands End' engraved on the base of the lighthouse and was made by the Cornish Stone Co. Ltd. No.4 has a unique round and scored base thus identifying the maker.

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No.1 has 'Marazion' engraved on it, so no prizes for guessing the manufacturer. No.2 is dark green in colour. Notice the wide trunk of No.4 thus recognizing another local maker.

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No.2 is a rarity as it is superbly hand decorated. It is glued to a piece of Manacles Rock, a treacherous rock known to have wrecked many a ship. No.3 is a rich red colour and difficult to find.

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No.1 and No.2 are modern harbour lights by a new local craft person,taking care not to copy a known design.

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No.1 is quite old; you can tell from the underneath of the base which is all rough and scored, unlike those where the underneath has been smoothed. No. 2 is made by D.Pitman. I know that because his label is still on the bottom. No.4 is a nice honey yellow colour.

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Here is another selection of nice colours.

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No.2 is another example of the scarce rich red colour.

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These 4 appeared on the internet auction site eBay. All were described as Victorian. No.1 was 3.75 inches tall and sold for £ 41. No.2 was 3.5 inches tall and sold for £ 28.99. No.3 was 3.5 inches tall and sold for £32.31. No.4 was 5 inches tall and sold for £ 26. With the exception of No.1 I would need some convincing that they are as old as stated but the prices were probably fair in view of the splendid colouring.

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Another Cornish Stone Co. Ltd on the left. The one in the middle was made in the 1960s and has "The Lizard" printed on it. It reflects the change to cheaper materials. The mercury filled thermometer fixed firmly on an ivory Fahrenheit calibrated scale has changed to a cheaper red alcohol filled thermometer glued on a plastic scale and loosely stuck on to the lighthouse. The item on the right was sold for £ 40 in July 2005 on eBay and was incorrectly described as "old original serpentine marble lighthouse - 11.5 inches tall". It clearly is not a model lighthouse but it does demonstrate the turner's skills and the stone cutter's skills to produce these two type of surfaces plus the two different pieces of coloured serpentine. No marble, of course, but a nice piece worth £ 40.


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