This whale oil lamp was made by CAPEN & MOLINEUX in New York City in the 1840's. George Molineux partnered with pewtersmith Ephraim Capen from 1848 to 1855. They made many different styles of oil and camphene lamps. Some surviving examples are even equipped with lard oil burners.
The lamp illustrated is one of the simplest but their product line included many upscale single and dual wick styles. This was a portable lamp that would have been used in many ways, including lighting the way to one’s bed chamber after dark. The single burner produces a soft, mellow light.