Greek Terracotta Oil Lamp


A fine Greek oil lamp moulded from terracotta featuring a biconvex shallow dish with a central conical point. The short, rounded nozzle displays a large wick hole and the base is concave at the centre corresponding to the point. The shoulder is unadorned however, faint ridges are visible to the exterior and interior from the use of a pottery wheel. This oil lamp resembles characteristics of a Howland Type 20.

Date: Circa 500-450BC
Provenance: Ex deceased gentleman, Preston collection.
Condition: Fine condition, earth encrustation to the sides and base, black carbon pigment from residual soot around the wick hole and shoulder.


SKU: LD-357 Category:

Oil lamps were a popular item in everyday life, practically, they provided light but were also used in sacred areas as votive offerings or placed in burials. The earliest forms of oil lamps consisted of a shallow dish with a wick placed inside. However, this became ill-suited as the oil would spill and there would be a loss of control over the wick. The lamp was developed to have a covered top which was later decorated with designs unlike early Greek lamps which were wheel made and left plain for convenience.

Weight 156.6 g
Dimensions L 11.8 x W 9.4 x H 2.6 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 88.819

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