Oil lamps featuring this particular shape are known as ‘Ephesus Lamps’, despite the fact that their production was not limited to this geographical site. ‘Ephesus Lamps’ usually display biconical bodies, elongated nozzles, and were mainly decorated with floral and foliage patterns and motives rather than human figures. Their production started in Asia Minor at the beginning of the 2nd century BC, and ended about a century later, at the start of the 1st century BC. The production of oil lamps in the Roman Empire originated from the contacts with the Greek colonies of Southern Italy. Indeed, it is thanks to the Greeks that they learnt this skill, to such an extent that lamps were called ‘lychnoi’, from the Greek ‘λυχνοι’.
Greek Hellenistic Ephesus Oil Lamp
A very fine Hellenistic Greek oil lamp, known as ‘Ephesus lamp’. The lamp has been carefully been moulded from grey clay, and features a single applied handle, a concave discus with four filling holes and a long triangle-shaped nozzle. The lamp’s shoulder appear decorated with a floral pattern.
Provenance: Private Israel collection, SM. Israeli export license for the collection.
Condition: Very fine condition.