Antiquities > Oil Lamps

Curious handless round oil lamp. Frog lamp? Egyptian?

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John B16:

Firstly I've been going through this forum for the past few days and have been blown away by the amount of knowledge shared around here.

Whilst I'm quite new to collecting, I've always been interested in the ancient world.

I recently acquired a pair of oil lamps at a local auction.

I think one of them is North African, about 300-500 A.D. The other one I'm a bit more uncertain about.

From some of my research, I think it might be from Egypt under the roman rule as it seemed quite close to some of the "Frog lamps" I'd seen.

Any thoughts and imput would be welcome.

Like I said, I'm knew and I didn't pay a lot for these so I don't mind if they're fakes.

Many thanks,

Both of your lamps are authentic.

The lamp without a handle is indeed what is popularly known as a 'frog lamp' (some of them depict frogs). It was made in Egypt during the 2nd-4th centuries AD.

The lamp with a handle was made in the central Mediterranean area during the 2nd-early 3rd centuries AD. The fabric suggests Italy but similar lamps were also made in North Africa. A clear image of the bottom of the lamp may help to pin down its origin.

You may find my website useful in helping to identify ancient lamps:

Joe Sermarini:
Thanks David for your help here and for creating your excellent website. 

Nice lamps John.

Soot stains by the nozzle are always a bonus.

Not a guarantee of genuineness as they can be faked, but nice when you have them on genuine ones like these.


John B16:
Many thanks for your expert knowledge!

Apologies for the delay with my response, I suffered from a loss of internet for half a week.

Regarding the Italian lamp, which has been repaired. I've attached a photo of the bottom. I don't have the best camera in the world so I don't think it's visible but there seems to be some latin writing underneath. I think I can make out an "A." and maybe an "R".

Thanks once more for your help,


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