mailing list
site map

ESLA 1526 Bracket

Genre: Swan neck bracket

The "swan neck" bracket probably gained prominence as the electric arc lamp became popular in the late 19th century. The arc lamp required suspending above the roadway by its canopy, so a sweeping, curved bracket was utilised to position the lantern relative to the column. With the advent of the inverted mantle, gas manufacturers followed suit; suspending lanterns by their canopies prevented shadows and the dark spaces associated with the early post-top Windsor style frame lanterns. Finally, the first lanterns for tungsten filament bulbs followed the trend and were also top-entry.

The swan neck was easy to manufacture from a iron or steel rolled tube. They were either fully formed to support the lantern directly, or finished on the horizontal so a decorative finial was required. Other decorations included the purely aesthetic scrollwork and collars, whilst tulip and leaf husks not only beautified the spigot cap, but also provided additional protection from rust at the joint between the bracket and spigot.

The swan neck was a popular choice for a "gas conversion" in the 1940s and 1950s where the original gas post-top lantern was removed and replaced with a swan neck and high level termination. As columns were originally made in various heights, swan neck brackets were also made in different sizes so the lantern height above the road could be standardised.

By the 1950s, the swan neck bracket was still extremely popular, as manufacturers were still producing large numbers of top-entry lanterns. However, the lines became simpler, and the decoration was eventually scaled down and finally removed entirely. It was a practical move: scrollwork and spigot joints formed dirt and moisture traps where corrosion could set in.

As side entry lanterns became popular, the swan neck declined in numbers. Brackets evolved into simple bracket arms, or became part of the column (as with the popular "hockey stick" column). However, the swan neck does live on, albeit in smaller numbers, and is still available as a "traditional" option for decorative and/or heritage style street lighting.

Name: ESLA 1526 Bracket
Date: Circa 1920s - 1950s
Dimensions: x' xx" (height), x' xx" (width)
Specs: Large pointed finial, ESLA grooved sleeve forming spigot cap
Lantern: ESLA Bi-Multi Group "AL" Two-Way 160°


This bracket, or one very similar, appears in the only ESLA catalogue known. The 1526 illustrated (left) features a different finial design, additional collar and optional fuse box below the spigot cap. But the overall shape of the bracket, and the distinctive grooved sleeve at its base, clearly identify the bracket.

The bracket was obviously designed to take ESLA Bi-Multi Group "AL" series as the lantern fits well within the swan neck. The lantern hardly hangs over the bracket either, the two acting as counterweights and so balances on top of the column.


I've never seen this type of bracket installed; it must have been rare.

The ESLA Bracket In My Collection

facing profile

The bracket was originally purchased from Solopark Architectural reclaim in Cambridgeshire. It's original location is therefore unknown.

front profile

When purchased, it was fitted with a top entry Philips GT 51 lantern. This was coaxed off and then the overlong threaded pipe in the finial was removed.

trailing profile

It's now been retrofitted with an ESLA Bi-Multi Group 'AL' Two-Way 160° lantern.

top of the bracket

ESLA finials are typically large and angular, but could be confused with the slightly larger REVO variant.


These vertical triangular patterns on the top and bottom of the elongated spigot are a classic characteristic of ESLA brackets.