Ancient Roman Terracotta Oil Lamp with Rosette

£ 295.00

A fine early Ancient Roman terracotta oil lamp, featuring a decorated concave discuss and a round-tipped volute nozzle. The discuss depicts a rosette with eight petals framed by two grooves, and centred by a small filling hole. The lamp’s two volutes are placed between the discuss and nozzle. The reverse features one concentric circle, creating a simple base ring. This lamp belongs to the Loeschcke type IV, which is characterised by a narrow, rounded nozzle flanked by volute-spines, round shoulders and the absence of a handle.

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: Fine condition, wear due to aging, mainly witnessed at top-half of lamop. Central perforation slightly blocked

In stock

SKU: HB-45 Category: Tag:

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 55.6 g
Dimensions L 9.5 x W 7 cm


Pottery and Porcelain

Reference: For a similar item: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, item 74.51.2182a>

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