Friday, 26 June 2020

Cruisie Lamps

Work is progressing slowly with the Green Dining Room but as I'm about to start on something I've not done before, I'm procrastinating although I've told myself I have to get on with it - more on that in another post. 

Meanwhile I've been searching around trying to find cruisie lamps in miniature.

The double cruisie lamp is primarily a domestic lamp with origins in Scotland and Ireland.   Also known, in other parts of the country as a Betty lamp.

These little oil/fat burning lamps were used mostly by the poor.   The top pan being filled with the substance and a wick added.    I have heard, although I don't know how true it is, that the Scottish had the double pan because we're so tight nothing was wasted and any drips were collected in the bottom pan and reused!   Animal tallow was preferred but fish oil could also be used although this was smokey and had a terrible smell.

In the working Kitchen of my Silk Weaver house the central ceiling light is a cruisie lamp with a glass fixture next to it.   I'm not sure of the purpose of the glass fixture, maybe it prevented smoke filtering into the room, but as it's there in the RL house, I've added it.

After much searching and enquiring of various miniaturists I was able to place an order for my little cruisies with Susan of Ashwood Designs.    This is a new item created by them and I think they're just marvellous.  Exactly what I was looking for.    Thank you again, Susan.    They were also able to provide me with a choice - wick or no wick so of course I had to have both!

* With thanks to Ashwood Designs for permission to use their photograph

This morning has been taken up with me finally getting the Kitchen finished with the addition of this little lamp.


  1. The little lamps are just wonderful. I wonder if the idea of the bell shaped glass above the light could have been to reflect the light out into the room more? I remember seeing a similar but much simpler version in Denmark where a glass ball was hung above a candle for that purpose.
    Anna X

  2. Thank you for the information about the lamp, I always like learning new things and thanks to your blog I do. Your miniature lamp is perfect in your room.

  3. Wow! I've never heard of those lamps. Learn something new everyday. Very cool.

  4. What specials lamps and how wonderful to find artisans to make them! It is fascinating to learn about implements that were critical to our way of life so long ago!

  5. Hi Irene! These cruisie lamps are amazing! I would guess that the bell above the lamp is for fire protection to the ceiling. Modern people who don't use candles forget how hot the air right over a flame becomes! Many oil lamp ceiling fixtures have a little metal plate suspended above them for reflecting the heat off the ceiling. The air around the "cap" keeps it cool enough that it won't start to burn the ceiling. Just my guess! I am fascinated by everything you are building for this house! The era is just old enough that over here things were still very "primitive" so we don't have much that compares! Keep up the great work!

  6. What a lovely room Irene, and all your beautiful little accessories! It’s great you managed to get your lamps as it will really finish the space. And hope the dining room works itself out!

  7. Whatever has been made in fullsize, somebody somewhere has made it in miniature- and what a Great Detective you've become Irene, to have sourced out a miniature Betty Lamp, which looks Perfect in your Silk Weaver's Kitchen-WELL DONE SUPER SLEUTH!

  8. I am impressed and delighted by your attention to detail!