The Roman oil lamp, a product almost unparalleled in its distribution throughout the Roman Empire, developed towards the end of the Greek 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. Favourite subject 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, such as fish and birds.
Roman Oil Lamp with Original Iron Wick
A finely modelled Ancient Roman red terracotta oil lamp, featuring a triangle-shaped canal nozzle, straddled by double volutes, and a deeply concave discus, enriched by a moulded decoration representing a kanthraos, a wine drinking cup used in Ancient Greece and Rome. A rim of moulded concentric circles surrounds the discus. The refilling hole situated to the left of the discus features an intact piece of the original wick, still perfectly attached.
Condition: Fine with signs of aging to the surface. Original wick still attached.