The lion was an animal frequently depicted on oil lamps. Within later antiquity as Christianity became the favoured religion the depiction of a lion referred specifically to St Mark, who was known as the ‘the Lionhearted’.
Roman North African Oil Lamp with a Crouching Lion
An Ancient Roman redware oil lamp from North Africa, most likely Tunisia. The central discus depicts a maned lion, crouching on its forepaws. The shoulders are decorated with geometric rosettes and concentric circles. A solid lug handle sits at the rear, used for holding. The base of the lamp features a low ring base. There are two fillings holes within the discus.
Provenance: From the collection of Arno Jumpertz, Leverkusen, Germany, 1924-1984. Much of the collection was exhibited at the Neus Museum, 1985.
Condition: Very fine; repair to the nozzle.