Ancient Roman Terracotta Oil Lamp with Floral Design

£ 125.00

An ancient Roman terracotta oil lamp with broad circular body and short rounded and heart-shaped nozzle. There is a large ring handle to the rear, indented with a single groove. The discus is decorated with a eight petal rosette in relief. The base features concentric circles.

Date: Circa 1st-2nd 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: Good Condition. Some black marks on the nozzle, a sign of the burning of the wick.


SKU: AG-39 Category: Tags: ,

The Roman oil lamp, a product almost unparalleled in its distribution throughout the empire, developed towards the end of the Hellenistic period and was to keep its general shape longer than any other item of pottery throughout the Mediterranean. The vast trade networks set up with the expansion of the Roman empire allowed for this item to be spread across Europe, Eastern Asia and Northern Africa. Oil lamps were used by the Romans for mainly three reasons; to light private and public spaces, to give as offerings in temples to the gods and to be placed within a grave or funerary context. As well as linear, geometric and circular designs, favourite subjects for decoration of oil lamps included gods and mythological scenes, scenes from everyday life, gladiatorial depictions, drawings relating to entertainment and theatre, and various animals, fish and birds.

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

Weight 63.1 g
Dimensions L 8.2 x W 6 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, see The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 74.51.2000

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