Lamps

Ancient roman lamps were designed to produce a continual source of light; it gives more light than a candle, and less light than lamps using other fuels. Oil lamps have been in use certainly among the ancient Egyptians and Romans, and are still in use today.

Ancient Egyptians used castor oil to fuel their lamps but the Romans largely used olive oil and sometimes, whale oil. Although most ancient roman lamps were used for providing light in the home, oil lamps were also used for religious purposes in temples, and also in some other public buildings. The body of most roman oil lamps was made from terracotta.

Most oil lamps, including those of ancient Rome, have the following characteristics. The external side of an oil lamp has several main parts. Oil lamps have a pouring hole on what is known as the shoulder where fuel is poured into the lamp, some lamps have more than one hole. There is also a wick hole and nozzle; this may simply be another hole in the lamp or a longish nozzle. Some lamp nozzles have a groove that runs from the pouring hole to draw back any oil that oozes from the wick.

Some oil lamps have a handle and some don’t, most handles are small and ring shaped with a flat piece on the top so that the lamp can be held between thumb and forefinger. Lamp handles may also be crescent or triangular shaped, and lamps without a handle usually have a longer nozzle. Some lamps have what is known as a lug, an extra piece that stands out diagonally from the edge of the lamp; this is sometimes used as a small handle on which to rest the thumb.

Oil lamps have a fuel chamber, or fuel reservoir, the inside of the lamp, the usual size of the chamber of a terracotta lamp is around 22cc. Oil lamps have a wick that extends over the nozzle into the fuel chamber, some lamps have more than one nozzle, but oil consumption increases with the number of nozzles. The wick was made either of flax, linen, tow, rush or papyrus, thinner wicks burn the oil more slowly than a thicker one.

Lamps were usually placed on lamp standards, fastened to the wall or placed in niches on the wall. The Romans used clay, stone or plaster molds on a large scale until as late as the eighth century. Two molds were used to cast a lamp, one for the upper part and one for the bottom. In the early Roman period lamps had a wide base, a narrow shoulder and no handle and were often elaborately decorated. Lamps made during the later Roman period had a smaller base and a wider shoulder. Between the first and the third centuries lamps were made in factories in the south of Gaul and the north of Italy for export to all the Roman provinces.

Early Roman lamps were often round with different types of nozzles and a closed body with a central disc, and were not always decorated. Later Roman lamps were of different types, some with many nozzles, they were often brightly decorated. Some lamps had molded reliefs of gladiators and scenes of eroticism.

Ancient Roman Lamps were primarily oil based lamps made from clay or ceramic. You can browse roman lamp antiquities for sale from various sellers.

ANCIENT TERRA COTTA ZOOMORPHIC OIL LAMP Mermaidfinned 4L x 2 3 8W x 175
ANCIENT TERRA COTTA ZOOMORPHIC OIL LAMP Mermaidfinned 4L x 2 3 8W x 175
$100.00
Time Remaining: 12h 36m
Extremely RARE Ancient Roman Stone Candle Holder Much Rarer than Oil Lamp
Extremely RARE Ancient Roman Stone Candle Holder Much Rarer than Oil Lamp
$150.00
Time Remaining: 29d 22h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $150.00
FINE ANCIENT ROMAN HOLYLAND POTTERY OIL LAMP 4 5th CENT AD
FINE ANCIENT ROMAN HOLYLAND POTTERY OIL LAMP 4 5th CENT AD
$76.79
Time Remaining: 29d 23h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $76.79
Ancient Late Roman Byzantine Holy Land Pottery Oil Lamp 500 AD
Ancient Late Roman Byzantine Holy Land Pottery Oil Lamp 500 AD
$27.00 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 13h 55m
Ancient Roman Terracotta Sandalled Foot Oil Lamp Ca100 200 AD
Ancient Roman Terracotta Sandalled Foot Oil Lamp Ca100 200 AD
$1,500.00
Time Remaining: 29d 17h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $1,500.00
roman style lamp
roman style lamp
$200.00
Time Remaining: 2d 12h 19m
Ancient Roman oil lamp with butting ram 1st century AD
Ancient Roman oil lamp with butting ram 1st century AD
$213.31
Time Remaining: 7d 8h 56m
Buy It Now for only: $213.31
ROMAN TERRACOTTA EROTIC LAMP
ROMAN TERRACOTTA EROTIC LAMP
$14.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 45m
ANCIENT HOLY LAND Pottery OIL LAMP Ex Prof PMS JONES Collection Bonhams
ANCIENT HOLY LAND Pottery OIL LAMP Ex Prof PMS JONES Collection Bonhams
$139.00
Time Remaining: 1d 17h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $139.00
Beautiful Ancient Roman Pottery Oil Lamp 200 AD
Beautiful Ancient Roman Pottery Oil Lamp 200 AD
$700.00
Time Remaining: 14d 14h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $700.00

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