Copper alloy lamp: deep flat-topped, elongated rounded body tapering to a flaring nozzle-end, with an oval dished area round an almost circular wick-hole. Raised rim round the filling-hole, with hinge-pieces at the front holding a truncated circular lamp-lid; remains of an iron pin survive. At the rear is a further pair of hinge-pieces which holds a scallop-shell-shaped reflector ornament (1919,0505.775), behind which is an angular handle with a circular piercing and a strut above supporting the ornament. The scallops radiate from a raised triangular element decorated with an incised branch; below the triangle is a splayed tongue with a projecting pierced lug that allows the handle-ornament to fold forward and rest on top of the lamp. On each side of the handle-ornament the lowest lobe has a projecting lug, one of which is pierced for a chain now lost. On the side of the body is an incised C-shaped sigma (shown at full size on the plate). The lamp stands on a high flaring base with mouldings round the bottom, hollow within and with a square-sectioned socket for the spike of a lampstand. This socket, the sleeve of which is cylindrical with a domed top, rises inside the oil-chamber. Surface coloration: cleaned to bare metal.
- Excavated/Findspot: Wadi Sarga, monastery
- (Africa,Egypt,Middle Egypt,Asyut,Wadi Sarga)
- Length: 13.7 centimetres
- Length: 17.4 centimetres (with handle-ornament)
- Height: 11 centimetres
Attached to 1919,0505.775.Analyses: copper: 70.4; lead: 12.5; tin: 2.75; zinc: 13.8.
Close: Wulff, O., 1909. ‘Altchristliche und mittelalterliche byzantinische und italienische Bildwerke’ I. Berlin : Reimer, No. 795, from Giza, which folds in the same way, as do Bénazeth, D., 1992. ‘L'art du métal au début de l'ère chrétienne’. Paris : Eds. de la Réunion des musées nationaux, p. 116, E 11792(b), 'Bayerische Vorgeschichtsblätter' 44, 1979, pl. 14, said to be from Oxyrhynchus, Coptic Museum, Cairo, Inv. No. 20749 (9I24B): much larger than ours, and also Strzygowski, J., 1904. ‘Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire’. Vienna : A. Holzhausen, 9124-5, in Cairo, the last from the Fayum, perhaps Crocodilopolis. Compare, in addition, two lamps in the Coptic Museum, Cairo, the folding-forward lids of which are in the form of shallow domes, rather than a scallop-shell: Inv. Nos 1285 and 5186; the dome of the latter is decorated with an openwork pattern; also with a domed folding-forward lid is a lamp closely similar to ours in the Allard Pierson Museum, Inv. No. 8018.
Excavated 1913-1914 by Reginald Campbell Thompson on behalf of the Byzantine Research Fund.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA32219
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