Samaritan Oil Lamp

SKU BB.1563

4 th Century AD to 7 th Century AD


3.75″ (9.5cm) high x 2.35″ (6.0cm) wide





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A metaphor for joy and prosperity, for hope, for life itself, lamps have illuminated the path of civilization for centuries. They have shed light on mundane and extraordinary events alike, guiding great thoughts through the night, and standing vigil with lonely passions. In the presence of this simple object, we are in touch directly with a vanished world, with the rooms and shrines once warmed by its glow, with the people who drew comfort from its light. Today it remains as an enduring symbol of man’s desire to conquer the darkness. Samaritan oil lamps are characterized by a sealed filling hole, which was to be broken by the buyer. This was probably done to ensure ritual purity. A wider spout, and the concavities flanking the nozzle are almost always emphasized with a ladder pattern band, as seen here. The decorations are linear and/or geometric. – (BB.1563)

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