Roman Terracotta Oil Lamp with Deity

£ 500.00

An Ancient Roman terracotta oil lamp featuring a round body with a sunken discuss and a heart shaped nozzle. A single ring handle has been applied to the back and is marked with two grooves. The shoulder is decorated with a laurel-wreath including leaves and berries. The discuss displays a deity, likely Ceres facing right. Her hair is presented in an untied hairstyle with a diadem and she is wearing a stola. The reverse features a flat base with two concentric circles and a further smaller one at the centre. A scallop shell design is incised on the back of the nozzle.

This oil lamp resembles Loeschcke VIII; Bussière form D X 4a

Date: Circa 175- 225 AD
Provenance: From a specialist collection of Roman oil lamps formed by Robertson Brockie (deceased), all acquired before 2008 from a central London ADA gallery, Southport Lancashire.
Condition: Fine condition, encrustation to the surface, hairline crack to the base.

In stock

Ceres was the goddess of the harvest, fertility, motherhood and agriculture in general. Her Greek counterpart was the goddess Demeter. She is the only Roman agricultural god to be listed in the Dii Consentes, a list of the 12 gods of the Roman Pantheon. Just as Greek mythology includes Persephone as her daughter, the Romans attributed Proserpina as Cere’s daughter. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans believed the abduction of Proserpina, by Pluto, was the cause of the changing seasons. Pluto and Jupiter came to an agreement that Proserpina would spend six months on earth and then six months living in the Underworld. Whilst Ceres daughter was staying in the underworld, Ceres neglects her duties and brings forth a barren state, the beginning of winter when the ground mourns for Proserpina. As she emerges from her underworld prison, Ceres rejoices and the Earth awakens, bringing forth Spring.

To find out more about Roman goddesses, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Goddesses in Mythology.

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

Weight 159.5 g
Dimensions L 12.4 x W 9.1 cm

Pottery and Porcelain

Roman Mythology


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