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Holy Land Pottery Oil Lamp

Holy Land Pottery Oil Lamp

Regular price $294.00
Regular price Sale price $294.00
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Umayyad Empire, Early Byzantine Period, c. 600-800AD, Holy Land.

Absolutely gorgeous, mold-made terracotta oil lamp featuring a pointed oval body and a small handle. Angled shoulder decorated with laurel-wreath designs. To the top, the lamp displays a large filling-hole (discus) with a pronounced rim. This is surrounded by an additional ridges which extends onto the nozzle and around the wick-hole,  decorated with a linear and dotted pattern, possibly a palm branch, in relief. The oil lamp sits on a convex base with a slightly raised ring foot. Residual soot can be seen from the burning of oils around the wick hole.

Small-sized earthenware oil lamps, made from double molds, were used in temples, churches, synagogues, and mosques but were also one of the most essential household appliances in antiquity. A wick produced from plant fiber or linen fabric was placed in a reservoir filled with oil, generally castor or sesame oil, and illuminated. Throughout the Holy Land and its neighbouring regions, clay lamps were frequently decorated with motifs and symbols of various kinds, often religious. Holy Land lamps, such as this excellent example, have mostly been recovered in Khirbet el-Mefjer near Ain el-Sultan, Jericho. They appeared at the beginning of the 7th century AD and became widespread during the Umayyad Empire (c. 661-750 AD), marking profound changes to the local material culture brought by the Moslem conquest of the region. 

Excellent condition. Age-related light wear. Rich earthen deposits. Gorgeous patina. Size approx. 10,8cm x 5,6cm x 5,0cm.

Provenance: Danish private collection. 

For a similar example see:

Lamp, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number: 61.150.3 (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/451652)

References and further reading:

Light and Life: Ancient Christian Oil Lamps of the Holyland (Studium Biblicum S.) Stanislao Loffreda, Franciscan Printing Press, 2001.

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  • Returns

    Returns and exchange will be accepted within fourteen days (14) of receipt at the purchaser’s cost to include freight and packaging. Items must be returned in the same condition as when they were shipped, and will not be accepted if damaged or altered in any way. Please inform us via email (info@gotanmaailma.fi) or by calling +358408408352 before sending. We do not accept returns more than 14 days after delivery.