Skip to product information
1 of 2

Holy Land Pottery Oil Lamp

Holy Land Pottery Oil Lamp

Regular price $294.00
Regular price Sale price $294.00
Sale Sold out
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

Umayyad Empire, Early Byzantine Period, c. 600-700AD, Holy Land.

Magnificent, mold-made terracotta oil lamp featuring a pointed oval body and a prominent conical handle. To the top, the lamp displays a large filling-hole (discus) with a pronounced rim. Surrounded by an additional ridges which extends onto the nozzle and around the wick-hole, forming a straight channel. The shoulders are richly embellished with a symmetrical pattern of leaping animals, in a ‘horror vacui’ fashion typical of Early Islamic lamps. The animals depicted on this lamp appear to be dogs with their long tails and pointed muzzle. The reverse remains unadorned, with the exception of a circular base ring forming an raised eight-spoked wheel.

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. Extremely well-preserved with light deposits. Nozzle had even traces of soot. Gorgeous patina. Size approx. 8,8cm x 7,8cm x 4,6cm.

Provenance: Danish private collection. 

References and further reading:

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

View full details
  • Shipping

    The shipment will be prepared in the course of 3-5 days and dispatched via Posti Group Oyj or purchased item(s) can be picked up from our shop during the store's opening hours (Tarkk’ampujankatu 4, 00140, Helsinki, Finland). Within the Finland, all items are shipped via Posti Group Oyj unless otherwise requested. We pack the items carefully and mainly in recycled materials because we want to save nature. You will receive the tracking number for your items by e-mail.

  • 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.