ROMAN OIL LAMP WITH LION

S O L D

Measurements: length – 14.8 cm, width – 8.8 cm

 

Description: A red-slipped mould-made terracotta oil lamp with a tapering tongue handle, a large closed body and a long canal nozzle. The discus is surrounded by a prominent rim flowing into parallel lines along the spout. The discus is decorated by a detailed image of a leaping grinning lion with bristling mane and has two fill-holes to the each side of the beast. The shoulder is moulded by a wide border of alternating spades and dotted square motifs terminating in radiating semi-spheres to the base of the spout. The lamp has black cinder marks around the mouth.

 

The shape and decoration of this lamp is characteristic for those produced in Roman colonies in North Africa, Tunisia among others, from the fourth century AD. The wide discus and shoulder areas of these lamps allowed for the depictions of rich pictorial scenes and a multitude of decorative motifs.

 

Reference: The Fitzwilliam Museum

Christie's sale 7325, lot 157.

 

Period: 4th - 6th century AD

 

Condition: Very fine, intact. Surface with minor crazing and encrustations.

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