Hellenistic Oil Lamp with Face


A finely modelled Hellenistic oil lamp, featuring a decorated body with an elongated, rounded nozzle. We see a large and central filling hole, which is enclosed by a raised circular band. A band of ovolos wrap around the outside of the ridge. The lamp also displays a human face – perhaps a satyr – in high relief at the centre of the lamp’s neck. Its neck is short and concave, terminated with a large and everted flat wick hole. To the reverse, the base is marked by five bands of ridged concentric circles. There are some minor encrustations on the exterior of the lamp – see photos for further clarification.

Date: Circa 3rd - 1st century BC
Condition: Fine condition - there are some minor encrustations.

In stock

SKU: AF-62 Category: Tags: , ,

Mould made lamps date back to the start of the third century BC, in the Eastern Mediterranean. Mould making soon came to dominate other methods of production – namely wheel making. Wheelmade lamps were trickier to produce – they were largely undecorated, given that any decor needed to be moulded separately, applied to the body of the lamp and then fired. Moulding enabled easy decoration – the mould only needed to be made once – and the mass production of oil lamp. The spread of this technique across the Graeco Roman world facilitated the creation of a vast spectrum of oil lamp shapes and designs.

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

Weight 119 g
Dimensions L 12.5 x W 7.9 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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