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HOME : Byzantine Art : Byzantine Masterpieces : Byzantine Bronze Oil Lamp
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Byzantine Bronze Oil Lamp - LO.1315
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean
Circa: 500 AD to 700 AD
Dimensions: 6.50" (16.5cm) high x 7" (17.8cm) wide
Collection: Byzantine Art
Medium: Bronze


Location: Great Britain
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Description
This elaborate bronze oil lamp dates to the Byzantine era. The ring handle is surmounted by a leaf-shaped attachment incorporating a Christian cross. The filling hole is covered with a hinged lid bearing the head of a bull. The details are incredibly naturalistic with wide nostrils, deep-set eyes and short curved horns. Three thick strands of curly hair adorn the animal’s forehead. Around the cover a petal motif is repeated in two semi-circles, perhaps imitating the sun’s rays- highly appropriate given the purpose of the lamp. Where the spout begins a small moveable attachment survives, which may once have served as a handle to lift the bull head cover. The spout terminates in a wide circular opening for the wick.The majority of lamps in the ancient world were fashioned from clay. The use of bronze was a costly and luxurious alternative. - (LO.1315)

 

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