- Museum number
Roman terracotta lamp with a caricatured scene: mould-made lamp with a voluted nozzle, mostly lost. Between the nozzle volutes is an air-slit. The top is decorated with a crocodile; rising from its tail is a huge human phallus on which sits a naked woman with her hair drawn back in a bun. She holds a palm branch in her left hand; behind her plants, probably intended to be Nilotic, rise up. Although made many decades later than than her death, this may be an obscene caricature of Cleopatra VII. The lamp stands on a slightly raised base. Covered with a streaky finger-marked orange-red to dark brown slip.
- Production date
- 40-80 (circa)
Length: 9.20 centimetres
Width: 7.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
A.W. Franks, 'ms Register of the Museum Secretum', W. 249;
D.M. Bailey, 'A Catalogue of the Lamps in the British Museum ii, Roman Lamps made in Italy (London 1980), cat. no. Q 900;
C. M. Johns, 'Sex and Symbol, Erotic Images of Greece and Rome' (London 1982, 1989,1999), 110, fig. 91;
S. Walker & P. Higgs [eds.], 'Cleopatra of Egypt' (London, 2001), p. 337 .
- On display (G70/dc3)
- Exhibition history
2010 Jan - April, Nottingham, Lakeside Arts Centre, The University of Nottingham, 'Roman Sexuality: Images, Myths and Meanings'
2014 Feb - May, Brading Roman Villa, Isle of Wight, Roman Sexuality: Images, Myths and Meanings
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: W249 (Museum Secretum)
Miscellaneous number: Witt.249 (Witt Collection Number)