I've been looking for one of these rare vintage tanks for about 5 years now. I finally found one that is complete with the original bulb edge glass and bronze plating. This is a 4 gal. "Modernistic" tank made by the Jewel company of Chicago around 1930. It has bronze plated cast iron corners and bases sitting on top of a thick piece of slate and four iron legs underneath that look like pipes with rubber in the ends of them. The four corners are screwed down into these feet I believe. The Jewel company only made a total of 300 "Modernistic" tanks which included both 4 and 8 gal. models as well as bronze plated and silver painted models. So these tanks are exceedingly rare. I had some acrylic pipes made for my inflow and output going to my Eheim Ecco 2236 which is in the Egyptian themed base along with a UV sterilizer and inline heater. I've had the tank running for several weeks now waiting for a suitable light. After doing extensive internet searches I came upon these vintage X-ray shades. They were used by businesses in the 1920's and 1930's so they are contemporary with the tank. They came in different shapes and colors but their "golden armor" model I thought would look great with the bronze patina of the tank. They are glass and have a highly reflective mirror coating on the inside. This one I found on ebay came with its original black metal socket holder. I found that it originally had a ceramic socket that was used with this holder so I found one on ebay that matched it. I then had to hunt down some wire and a plug that looked vintage. I found this gold cloth covered pulley wire and a repro white plastic plug made to look like an original ceramic one. I just finished wiring it and installing it a few hours ago. The shade has some small spots where there is paint loss so you can see the light shining through them but this is to be expected from an 80 year old shade. I've only placed some eco complete in the bottom of the tank and threw in some cuttings from one of my other tanks along with hornwort that just doesn't stop growing. I need to clear all this out and do some aquascaping but I wanted to share this because you just don't see these every day.
They just don't make tanks like that anymore. How much did it cost?
Lets just say that its rarity commanded a premium price. I had a chance at one of these in the 8 gal. silver model from the same collector but I couldn't afford both. Probably last time I'll ever see a complete one of these for sale. I've seen a couple on ebay over the years but they didn't have the original glass which would be nearly impossible to find since they haven't made it for the last 50 or 60 years.
I don't know where I would even begin to look for something like that. It's beautiful.
Thanks, I did years worth of looking online and I happened to locate a man who has collected vintage tanks for over 30 years. I kept in touch with him via email, actually more like pestered him, and it finally paid off. He had duplicates of this tank so he was willing to part with one as he had run out of space. Pity he doesn't have a web site devoted to his collection. I'd love to see what he has.