Roman Terracotta Oil Lamp with Victory


A mold-made Ancient Roman terracotta oil lamp featuring a rounded nozzle that is tangential to the lamp rim. The decorated discus is separated from the nozzle by a straight horizontal line flanked by two dots and the rounded shoulder features two concentric ridged circles.  The discus contains a winged figure of Victory standing right, holding a wreath. The lamp features a large ring handle with two grooves and there is one hole, left of the figure which would have been used to fill the lamp with oil. There is a small air hole at the foot of the figure. Remnants of a corroded iron wick-nail remain inside the filling hole. The base ring is marked with two circular grooves. This lamp corresponds with Bussiere form D II 1, which is characterised by the nozzle separation of the horizontal line and two flanking dots .

Date: Circa AD 70-200
Provenance: Ex S.M. London collection, 1970-2000s by descent.
Condition: Fine, with signs of ageing to the surface. Chip to the base ring mark and nozzle. Some wear to the handle.


SKU: AH-908 Category: Tag:

According to ancient Roman mythology and religion, the goddess Victoria, known as Nike in Greek mythology, was the personified goddess of victory. Numerous artistic and architectural dedications to her bear witness to the popularity of the goddess’ cult: Victoria appears widely on Roman coins, jewellery, architecture, and other works of art.

Nike was often depicted on oil lamps holding a shield and wings unfurled. The motif was one commonly used for celebratory New Year wishes, with the shield inscribed with good luck messages for the owner.

Weight 135.5 g
Dimensions L 12 x W 8 x H 4.5 cm


Pottery and Porcelain

Roman Mythology

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