Griffin Gallery Antiquities

Six Roman Pottery Oil Lamps Sold as a Group

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1153350

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SOLD AS A GROUP: Six Roman Pottery Oil Lamps, ca. 2nd-4th Century CE. Found in the Holy Land, in various shapes and sizes. All intact and in good condition. Ex: Archaeological Center, Old Jaffa. The earliest known lamps were adapted from ordinary, plain pottery bowls filled with oil; the wick was simply placed in the oil and lit. Later on, a pinched rim was devised in order to ensure a steady, controlled supply of oil to the wick. In time, this pinched rim developed into a real spout. During the Middle Canaanite Period most oil lamps had four pinched spouts, whereas in later periods oil lamps seldom had more than one spout. Traditionally shaped, pinched spouted lamps continued to be used until the late Hellenistic period. At the same time, however, under the influence of imported Greek-style closed lamps, locally manufactured lamps were designed in imitation. This new design gradually replaced the traditional one. From this period onward, the closed, molded lamps bore decorations in relief. Archaeological sites in the land of Israel from the Hellenistic period onward have revealed oil lamps that were made for the use of Jewsish people. These lamps have been found in Jewish settlements and cemeteries, and they are decorated in a style that accords with the spirit of the Jewish faith.