Roman, later Imperial period, ca. 3rd to 4th century CE. A large, bronze oil lamp with tripartite nozzles, spaced at regular intervals around a central disc with a hole in the center for filling the lamp with oil. Each spout has two small projections from its sides and a large loop above it that would have been fitted with a bronze chain so that the lamp could be hung from a wall or ceiling and cast light over a room. Size: 6.9" W x 1.95" H (17.5 cm x 5 cm)
Some scholars have noted that bronze lamps, with their increased cost over pottery lamps, were probably a kind of heirloom, and were also probably reserved for the richest households. Bronze lamps, which have been theorized to remain in a family for at least three generations because of their expense before being recast could also have additions added to them - like crosses or new lids - to suit changing styles.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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