Late Roman / Byzantine oil lamp


Out of stock



ITEMOil lamp
CULTURELate Roman / Byzantine
PERIOD3rd – 5th Century A.D
DIMENSIONS80 mm x 50 mm x 90 mm
CONDITIONGood condition
PROVENANCEEx Emeritus collection (USA), collected from the 1950’s to the 1980’s by a distinguished university professor who served as Department head, Dean and Vice President of a major university.

Production of oil lamps shifted to Italy as the main source of supply in the Early Roman era. Molds began to be used, and lamps were produced in large scale in factories. All lamps are closed in type. The lamp is produced in two parts, the upper part with the spout and the lower part with the fuel chamber. Most are of the characteristic “Imperial Type”—round, with nozzles of different forms (volute, semi-volute, U-shaped), a closed body, a central disk decorated with reliefs and a filling hole.

With the systematic use from the 1st century BC of moulds in the process of manufacturing ceramic oi lamps, the discs, until now free of decoration, were gradually covered with a rich and varied iconographic repertoire (vegetable crowns, animals, scenes from everyday life, etc.)

Frog type lamps also appeared during this period. These are kidney-shaped, heart-shaped or oval, and feature the motif of a frog or its abstraction, and sometimes geometrical motifs. They were produced around 100 AD. They are so variant that two identical lamps are seldom found.

The Late Roman lamps included more decorations, and were produced locally or imported in large scale. The multiple-nozzled lamps appeared during this period. Many different varieties were created.