ROMAN OIL LAMP WITH CUPID ON A DOLPHIN
Measurements: 10 cm - length
Description: A finely modelled Ancient Roman terracotta oil lamp featuring a short canal nozze, one filling hole to the discuss and a small applied loop handle. The discuss is decorated with the depiction of a winged Cupid playing a double flaute while riding a dolphin. The lamp is marked to the undersited with the maker’s mark.
The motif of Eros riding a dolphin is known in Greek art from the middle of the 6th century BC, especially in ceramics and decorative arts, being an allegory of love. Eros riding a dolphin seems not beeing connected to a specific myth and it appears to have been used only with decorative purposes. In Ancient Greek and Roman culture and mythology dolphins were associated with the sea and with the sphere of sensual love, bearing an amatory symbolism. For the assonance between the ancient Greek word delphis (δελφίς), meaning dolphin, and the word delphus (δελφύς), meaning womb, dolphins were considered animals sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, fertility and desire.
Period: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine, complete and intact with signs of aging to the surface.