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A Roman buffware oil lamp, the tondo decorated with a rosette design. 2nd - 4th Century A.D.

Roman oil lamps were made from fired clay, but are also found in bronze and even iron. However, it was the clay lamps, cheap to produce, that became the mainstay of everyday lighting in the Roman world. They were made using a two-part mould. Wet clay was pressed into each half of the mould and the two halves joined together. They were removed from their moulds while still soft, and the oil-hole and wick-holes pierced by hand. Finally, the lamp was fired in a kiln.

Roman oil lamps are one of the most diverse and popular antiquities for sale to collectors. They are decorated with almost every depiction imaginable, including gods, animals and erotic scenes.

Condition: Complete and intact.

Dimensions: 8.8 cm x 6.2 cm approx.

Provenance: Ex. private collection, UK; acquired at UK auction house.


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