|ITEM||Oil lamp with two dogs alternating with two hares in a circle|
|PERIOD||1st – 3rd Century A.D|
|DIMENSIONS||28 mm x 75 mm x 87 mm|
|PROVENANCE||Ex Marius-Victor-Ernest Dumas private collection (North Africa and France), acquired in Tunisia between 1890 – 1920.|
M. Dumas was Controleur Civile (French colonial administrator) of the city of Sousse in Tunisia prior to World War I.
This collection of Roman and North African antiquities has remained in the family for the past 100 years in the Haute-Savoie region of France.
|PARALLEL||DENEAUVE J., Lampes de Carthage, Pl. LXXVII, Fig. 832|
They are the symbol of fidelity and vigilance. They are involved in myths such as those of Can Cervero, Acteon and Pándoreo. They used to sacrifice themselves in honour of Ares, the god to whom they were consecrated. They were also used as watchmen of the houses – as shown in the Pompeian mosaics – and of course they were essential players in the art of hunting. They are found in practically all artistic manifestations, alone or in groups with animals that they harass. In the chandeliers they occupy the period between the 1st and 5th centuries AD.
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.)