Romano-Egyptian Frog Lamp

£ 95.00

A terracotta Romano-Egyptian oil lamp with a large, decorated ovoid body. The lamp features one small filling hole within its centre and a second burn hole situated within the rounded nozzle. Differing from its Roman counterparts, this lamp has particularly thick walls. This type of lamp was mould-made and is known as the ‘Frog’ type for its stylised representation of a splayed frog, viewed from a birds-eye-view. Decoration on such lamps was often highly stylised however and even included motifs not associated with the frog design – such as floral patterns and zoomorphic representations.

Date: Circa 3rd - 5th century AD
Period: Coptic Period
Provenance: From a private Preston, Lancashire collection, RB, who amassed a collection of over 200 lamps, the majority acquired via a London A.D.A member gallery.
Condition: Fine condition. Chip to the rear. Old collection sticker to base.


SKU: AH-947 Category: Tags: ,

Known as the ‘frog’ type, this particular lamp design seems to have been exclusively made for use in Egypt. Production began in the 2nd century AD and remained in use until the 4th century AD, with some examples dated up to the 7th century AD. Mould-made, the frog decoration on such lamps was often stylised, often to the point of obscurity.

The frog was a symbol used in Ancient Egypt to symbolise re-birth. The amphibian was associated with a number of gods, including Ptah – the god of creation. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the frog self-created, emerging from the marshy mud of the Nile as spawn to hatch into tadpoles and later develop into frogs. Frog amulets were thus worn by both the living and the dead. They were placed on mummies to rejuvenate and regenerate, whilst the living wore such amulets to encourage fertility.

Within Egypt’s Coptic Christian period the symbol of the frog continued to be used. It maintained its old association with re-birth. Oil lamps with a frog motif can be found in abundance; the lamp representing the sun and the frog the resurrection [of Christ].

Weight 118.3 g
Dimensions L 7.5 x W 6.8 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


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