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 Shell Motif
A finely modelled Ancient Roman light terracotta oil lamp, featuring a short, rounded canal nozzle and a single filling hole to the discus. The deeply concave discuss is decorated with the moulded depiction of a shell. Further decoration includes a volute motif to the nozzle, and geometric motif of triangles and dots to the lamp’s shoulders. The unworked base displays two concentric circles inside of which is inscribed the potters mark in Greek letters, ΓΑ (GA).
Condition: Fine, with a minor hole to the base. Black soot deposits can be observed around the wick hole.