Lamp, made in a plaster mould. Circular with sloping shoulder, narrow flattsh rim and concave discus with off-centre fill-hole. Thick rounded nozzle with volutes. Slightly convex base defined by groove. Two to three encircling grooves demarkate rim and discus. On discus, very obscure, nude winged Eros, standing frontal, legs apart, with right arm raised holding someting which swirls up and around to the right of his head and his left arm behind his back. Suggestion of stamp on base in the form of a narrow rectangular depression (16mm x 2mm). Fine buff-yellow clay with very worn red brown glaze. Knife pairing below shoulder and on edges of nozzle. Signs of burning at wick-hole. (Webb, Jennifer M., 1997 "Corpus of Cypriote Antiquities", Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol. XX:p. 16)
CH classification LIGHTING Kerosene & Oil oil lamp
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Cypriot
Circa 1st Century CE
H32mm x W66mm x D86mm
Pottery, fine buff-yellow clay with worn red brown glaze
Decorative motif: On discus, very obscure, nude winged Eros, standing frontal, legs apart, with right arm raised holding someting which swirls up and around to the right of his head and his left arm behind his back
History and use
The need to extend daylight hours has always been with us. Before the advent of electricity, allowing a space to be illuminated with the simple flick of a switch, light was achieved by the use of a candle or a lamp. Artificial lighting via candles and lamps was widespread through the ancient world. Lamps were utilised in private and public buildings, in temples and sanctuaries, in street lighting and in ceremonies.
This lamp is decorated with a figure of Eros, the Greek god of love. Although stamped, the deeply impressed makers mark presents as an unclear narrow rectangular depression.