Large, Signed Oil Lamp with Mercury

Culture: Roman/ Northern Africa
Period: 2nd-3rd century A.D.
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: 17.5 cm long
Price: 4 800 Euro
Ref: 7056
Provenance: From the estate of the French archaeologist Suzanne Gozlan (1921-2022), professor at the l’Ecole Normale d’Instituteurs de Chartres and lecturer at the Parisian Sorbonne. Acquired in 1979 at Drouot Paris.
Condition: Intact
Description: Very large, important reddish clay oil lamp of the Loeschke VIII type, which was made in northern Africa. The round mirror depicts an unclothed Mercury with a winged hat (petasos), who holds in his right hand the moneybag, and in his left one the caduceus, the staff as a symbol of commerce. The travel cloak, the so-called chlamys, is thrown over his left arm. A large and a small pouring and wick hole respectively are in the lower part of the image area. The shoulder is decorated with encircling stamped egg-and-dart pattern. The simple round nozzle is slightly raised and has traces of smoke. The bottom of this very rare lamp is on the front decorated with wine leaves, tendrils and grapes. On the smooth bottom the manufacturer’s name KDOMISES is engraved (which could also be read as "KDOMITSES" using an I-T ligature). A massive ring handle starts from the shoulder to the bottom. With an old label of the auction house Drouot at the bottom.