Antiquities > Oil Lamps

Fake Terracota and Bronze?

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Herodotus:
Hi all,

After browsing the Fake Reports on this forum I reached the conclusion that I might have a couple of fake lamps in my collection, but I want to confirm with you and perhaps prevent somebody else from acquiring something similar.  So here it is:

My terracotta lamp is in the first picture.  I first noticed the specimen posted by Dr. Prokopov (2nd pic) here in the Fake Reports: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=8&pos=7

The third lamp from the boar and wolf type I found listed for sale at a reputable venue.  It seems like there is quite the mass production of these. 

Now for my second possible fake:

I had no suspicions about my bronze lamp (with palm leaf), until I noticed Dr. Prokopov's post in the Fakes section: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?album=30&pos=1

While the lamp posted by him has an eagle above the handle and mine has a palm leaf, it's not hard to envision the substitution if this is fake.  The bodies of both lamps look identical. 

Any comments regarding this are welcomed. I would especially appreciate it if Dr. Prokopov can comment on these lamps, since he has posted the ones that drew my attention, for which I am thankful, even though it was not a nice surprise, to put it mildly.

gavignano:
Hello. My comment for these would be what you found out, that there are many fakes of lamps, most not too good but some quite deceiving. you mentioned the third one was from a reputable source, but, unless they are specialized in early lamps.......In other words I don't think I'd buy one from a generic antiquities dealer too quickly.
N.B. look on this site for some genuine early a.d. lamps - quite pricey. A 'bargain" is huge red flag.

Herodotus:
Hi Gavignano.  Thank you for your reply.  Indeed the lamp market is very tricky and there is relatively little information available to make an informed decision about a good fake.  One of the reasons I posted this here is to spread awareness for at least these two lamps.  The first I was almost sure is fake for a while, ever since I saw another one for sale.  Technically, it's not impossible to have two genuine lamps that were made from the same mould, but these seem to be everywhere all of a sudden.  For the bronze one, I had no idea until I saw Dr. Prokopov's photo here by chance, and wouldn't have suspected it otherwise.  I am not sure if he reads this section, but I would sure be glad to find out from him what is the "pedigree" of these fakes, i.e. are they Bulgarian made, are there a lot of them out there and so on.   More comments from everyone welcomed of course.

Thanks.

Ilya Prokopov:

The reported ceramic lamp  is one of the many I have personally seen and documented. You can see the dark paint on mouth to imitate burning. On the dark area there is red paint on top applied last /in blue/. Around the opening there is an imitation of sticking  with earth but you can see traces of sued glue /in green/. The same light mass is glued on the animal scene /in red/. Besides the paint used all over the lamp is applied also in the bottom where it is fresh and not worn. If it was really dark from continuous usage the bottom should look much more intensively worn.

Herodotus:
Thank you so much for the detailed analysis, Dr. Prokopov. Indeed my lamp also has little lumps of clay stuck on the inside, although it has not been made to appear burned at the nozzle and is overall more deceiving I think.  Perhaps the bottom is more revealing with the varying coloration.  In any case, I am confident that it is a fake, especially after your reply.  However I do wonder if there was a genuine example of this type that served as a model or it is a fantasy piece.

Lastly, I've attached another picture of the bronze lamp, with the hope of getting your opinion whether it's fake as well. Compared to your example it does appear to be produced by the same mold (for the main part), and patination seems to have been hastened at closer look.  It's very important for me to find out if this is fake as I suspect, so your comments are appreciated.

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