Such lamps, known as ‘plastic’ lamps despite being made of clay, were popular particularly in the 1st – 2nd century. The use of a mold would allow for mass production. ‘Plastic’ lamps were typically lamps for the lower classes, used as a light source but also as offerings in shrines and temples.
Rare Roman Pinecone Lamp
A Roman terracotta mold-made lamp, designed to resemble a pinecone. The lamp features a deep pyriform-shaped, knobbed body with a short nozzle to the front of the lamp. A vertical ring handle has been added to the top of the lamp, situated slightly in front of a small filling hole. This would allow the lamp to be suspended. The base is also flat to allow the lamp to stand independently. The base has a worn maker’s mark.
Provenance: Found at Zülpich, Germany. From the collection of Arno Jumpertz, Leverkusen, Germany, 1924-1984. Much of the collection was exhibited at Neus museum, 1985.
Condition: Fine. Loss of glaze to body. Some abrasions.