Ancient Roman Herodian Style Oil Lamp

£ 175.00

A delicate Ancient Roman Herodian terracotta oil lamp. It features a circular, wheel-made body with a large central filling-hole surrounded by a narrow flat discus separated by a well-defined ridge. The wide spatulated nozzle, with an incised horizontal line above, was shaped by hand and subsequently attached to the body of the lamp. Slightly rounded unmarked base with signs of knife-pairing used to create the smoother finish.

Date: Circa 1st Century AD
Provenance: From a specialist collection of Roman oil lamps formed by Robertson Brockie (deceased), all acquired before 2008 from a central London ADA gallery; Southport Lancashire.
Condition: Very fine condition, slight wear due to age.


SKU: HB-47 Category:

In Antiquity, a lamp was originally called a ‘lychnus‘, from the Greek ‘λυχνος’, with the oldest Roman lamps dating back to the third century BC. It is thought that the Romans took the idea for lamps from the Greek colonies of Southern Italy. During the Roman Empire, it became commonplace to use lamps in funeral ceremonies and for public purposes. This particular example is rendered in the Herodian style, a group which appeared during the reign of King Herod the Great of Judaea, the Roman province of Palestine. These lamps were typically wheel-thrown and with a hand-formed nozzle with curved sides. Their usage was primarily limited to the region of Judaea.

To discover more about oil lamps in Antiquity, please visit our relevant blog post: Lighting The Way.

Weight 42.4 g
Dimensions L 8.4 x W 6.3 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


You may also like…