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. 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.
North African Oil Lamp with Rosettes
This finely modelled Ancient Roman light terracotta oil lamp features a deep discus outlined by two pairs of concentric circles with a shoulder featuring two beautiful, raised rosettes, one on either side. The large handle is solid with no finger hole and there is an imprint of a star at the base of the handle where it joins to the rim. Half volutes outline the end of the nozzle where is joins to the shoulder and the base is formed by a large engraved circle.
Condition: Fine. Small chip next to the filling hole. Signs of wear to the surface.