Ancient Lamps - RomQ Reference Collection

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RNA16

Reference: RNA16 / Cat. No.

Period: Roman

Origin: Probably North Africa

Date: 175 250 AD

Description:

On discus: Mercury, holding purse (or patera?) in r. hand and caduceus on l. arm, mounted on ram and riding l.

Remains of small iron rod (wick-pin) embedded in filling-hole.


Manufacture: Mould made.

Notes:
Cf. Deneauve, 992; (subject) Rosenthal & Sivan, 213.
Wick-needle: see Broneer, Corinth, p.11.


Comments:
It seems to have been a fairly common practice, in some regions at least, to insert a pin into the wick through the filling-hole of a lamp in order to hold the wick in place. This pin would prevent the wick from sliding down into the body of the lamp and also serve to adjust the wick as it was consumed.

Wick-pins could be made from any rigid material (metal, wood or bone, for example). The evidence of rust stains near filling-holes is quite common and suggests that iron wick-pins were widely used, though it is unusual to find one still present and intact as here.



RNA16



Last edited: 27-03-2009

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