Antiquities > Oil Lamps

How about this oil lamp? is it from the Roman Period

(1/3) > >>

Ancient oil lamp from the Roman Period (37 BC– 324 AD). Length: 8.2 cm.

Gladiator with tiger.

I think that these voluted triangular nozzle type oil lamps date around 1st - 2nd century A.D. Very likely to have been made in Italy. My two pence.

Hi, Your oil lamp is effectively a type voluted triangular nozzle dated to the begining of Empire. Dressel and Loeschck have divided this type in 3 groups: A, B and C. Each group have different type of volute and beak. Your oil lamp is a type C. Loeschck have dated type A from Augustus reign, type B from Tiberius and Claudius reign and type C from Nero reign to begining Flavii reign.
Deneauve have make too a classification for this type of oil lamp but I don't have any information about his work.

ref: Benedicte Robin Petitot. Catalogue des lampes grecques et romaines. Les collections du musée de l'Arles antiques.

Your oil amp is superb, congratulations
Best Regards


I'm afraid that your lamp is a modern reproduction made in Bulgaria. These are commonly artificially aged (often extremely convincingly) to pass them off as originals.

The clay and simulated slip are typical of the type and the raised lip on the end of the nozzle is also a common feature. Other examples from the series are included here (FB7 is similar to yours and almost certainly from the same patrix):

The image is not a "Gladiator with tiger". The originals on which your lamp is loosely based featured an image of a hunter with spear (Meleager?) running left, accompanied by a hound. These date from the second half of the 1st century AD. A poor provincial example (Cypriot) is shown here:

Thanks a lot, it looks not old to me too. That's why I asked.
It seems the reddish colour was painted outside, insde is a little bit white caly. Is that normal? Does a real lamp painted?
By the way how about the market price for this kind of lamp? if there's a real one exists? I think the price is also an indication of real or not.

I did some reading. Now I understand, the reddish painting should be slip:
"The vast majority of ancient pottery is coated with slip, fine watery clay that produces a glossy surface when fired. The use of slip is in fact more for practical reasons than it is for aesthetic.  Despite the decorative results, its primary function is to seal the vessels’ surfaces and make them less permeable to their contents. Slips should not be confused with glaze, which involves a chemical process that results in a vitreous or glass-like appearance after firing.  Such exteriors are rare in ancient pottery.
The colour of pottery is also affected by the method in which it is fired; as the iron oxide content in clay will react to the amount of oxygen inside the kiln. For example, by firing in an oxidizing or smoke free atmosphere the iron content will produce a red surface, while a reducing, or smoky atmosphere will produce a black finish.  The reduction technique required a damp fuel source and a sealed kiln to contain the smoke, which would turn both the slipped and bare areas black or gray. Romans however, generally preferred shiny red pottery and therefore relied mostly on the oxidizing technique. "

another one from the same seller:


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version