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Published Roman Glass Conical Lamp

Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 4th century CE. Comprised of translucent glass - almost colorless with a faint tinge of aubergine - a conical glass lamp with three broad and deep wheel-cut grooves over the body. The rim is ground smooth. In addition to its almost pink champagne color, the vessel presents areas of rainbow and violet iridescence. This type of vessel was used in the late Roman to early Byzantine periods, designed to be filled with oil and placed into large metal fixtures. These fixtures contained multiple lamps and provided illumination in the same way that a candelabrum does today. Size: 6.125" H (15.6 cm)

The following eloquent quote from Prudentius captures the magical quality of a lamp like this example, "As for us, we pass the long night with pious gladness in festal congregations, in sleepless prayer we earnestly heap up petitions that will be granted, and on the altar raised up make offerings to God. The lamps gleam out, that hang by swaying cords from every panel of the roof, and the flame, fed by the oil on which it floats lazily, casts its light through clear glass. One would think the starry space stood over us, decked with the twin Bears, and that bright evening stars were everywhere scattered, where the Wain directs its team of oxen. How worthy a thing, O God, for Thy flock to offer Thee at dewy night's beginning - light, Thy most precious gift, light, by which we perceive all Thy other blessings." (Prudentius, Cathemarina V. 137-152 - from Fortuna Fine Arts, Ltd. Catalogue entitled "Solid Liquid: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Glass" (New York: 1999), p. 110. Also see similar examples of conical lamps in this publication - figures 199 and 200, pages 110-111).

This piece was published in "Solid Liquid" (New York: Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd., 1999) on page 111, figure 200.

Condition: Areas of brown weathering film as shown as well as beautiful rainbow violet iridescence!

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; This piece was published in "Solid Liquid" (New York: Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd., 1999) on page 111, figure 200.

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