Ancient Roman Bronze oil lamp with mask handle, Circa 50-150 AD

Material:  Bronze
Conservation:  Damaged on one side
Material:  Bronze
Dimensions:  13 x 18 cm
Provenance:  English Private Collection, 1990 / Archaeological Gallery, Spain, 2015 / This piece is accompanied by an export certificate from the Spanish Ministry of Culture No. 2020/00865 with date 14/07/2020 and certificate of authenticity.
Exhibited:  Ifergan Collection, Málaga (2018-2020)
Ref jba141 Category Tag

This lucerna is typologically very special to be made in bronze, also has on its support a theater mask that makes clear how important this show was for the Romans, for all this is one of the best examples we can find of Roman lucerna.

Oil lamps, also called chandeliers or lanterns, are used by various ancient civilizations, from the prehistoric, through the ancient Egyptians to the present day. The oil lamp is a container full of oil from which a wick is placed on a protrusion and lit, bringing light to the home. Many theories point out that besides being used daily in homes they could also be used in funeral rituals.
Among the materials used as fuel the most common was olive oil, although mixtures of fish oil with the animal’s entrails, oil with crushed nuts and even other types of oils such as castor oil were used. While dried vegetable fibres or wicks made from animal hair were used as wicks.
The oil lamps are one of the best archaeological evidence we have of Roman excavations.

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