An Ancient Terracotta Oil Lamp
Decorated With The Busts of Isis and Serapis
Roman Circa 2nd Century C.E. (AD 170-230)
Measures:- 10 cm diameter (approx)
Of Loeschcke Type VIII form with short nozzle, moulded discus and unpierced handle. The centre of the discus decorated with depictions of Isis and Serapis facing one other. Filling hole to the centre, air hole to the edge, above the nozzle.
The pairing of Sarapis and Isis was seen as an ideal representation of divine matrimonial harmony. Sarapis is always depicted on the right side, in leftward profile and often (as here) wearing a modius (flat-topped cylindrical headdress) and a pointed crown, with Isis facing him opposite on the left.
Excavated/findspot near Jerusalem (by repute).
Private Collection, Cornwall, UK, acquired 1950's.
For a similar lamp see Archaeological Museum Zadar, Croatia [Inv. no. AMZd A-10180].
Signs of aging, burial and earthly encrustations on the surface. The terracotta now powdery with associated age-related loss of definition to the moulding. Stress crack to the handle. Spout with an old adhesive repair with associated hair crack. Small impact hole to the side of the discus with associated hair crack. The spout with old carbon deposit from ancient usage.
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