III. Roman-Period Clay Lamps / Types from both Western and Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire / Augustan and Imperial Lamps

Deneauve type V G


Lamps of this type have a circular body with a short nozzle, usually rounded, occasionally angular at the tip. Most examples have a handle. The shoulder may have flat early Loeschcke forms III a or b, or IV a, but the rounded and later form VII b is more frequent. A short V-shaped channel separates the discus from the nozzle. At its junction with the nozzle, the shoulder is cut slantwise and the wick-hole area is on a lower level. Another characteristic of the type is the presence of a bow-shaped lug handle (also called “ear”) on each side of the body. All lamps have a flat base marked off by a circular groove.

The type, created in Italy (fourteen examples of the type are in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples; see Pavolini 1977), is widely distributed in the Mediterranean, either as exported Italic examples or as locally made products (well illustrated in Asia Minor, Athens, Spain, and Africa). The type was first produced in the middle of the first century A.D., as attested by two examples signed in planta pedis by the Italian workshop CCLOD[ivs] and found in a shipwreck in the Balearic Islands dated between A.D. 40 and 50 from its pottery and a coin (see Domergue 1966, nos. 60, 65, pl. 7, and the controversial discussion about this wreck in Bailey BM II, p. 93). Three other workshops, LVC, MYRO, and CAN, also signing their names in planta pedis, produced lamps of this type (De Caro 1974, no. 20, pl. 5; Bailey BM II, Q 1094–Q 1095; Bussière 2000, no. 703, found in a tomb in Tipasa dated by Hayes to A.D. 60/70 from its abundant ceramic material).

A lamp of this type, no. 707 in Bussière 2000, is worth mentioning: made by a further workshop that signed with a plain planta pedis flanked by the letters A and P, the lamp was found in a tomb in Tipasa associated with a bronze coin of Galba in excellent condition. The various lamp workshops here mentioned were active from Neronian until Late Flavian times. Several other ateliers signing in nomen or tria nomina, active between Late Flavian and Hadrianic times—in some cases even to Early Antonine—have produced lamps of this type in their early phase of activity. See, for examples, Bussière 2000, no. 702 (MVNSVC), nos. 712–14 (GABINIA), no. 715 (COPPIRES), and no. 716 (LMVNSVC); Loeschcke, Willers, and Niessen 1911, no. 1883 (OPPI); and Heres 1972, no. 549 (CATILVEST). From the little available chronological data, Bailey attributes Deneauve type V G to a time from Late Claudian to Trajanic.

Of the three Getty examples, cat. 269 has a shoulder of Loeschcke form IV b, while cats. 270 and 271 have the later form VII b. Cat. 269 most likely comes from Asia Minor, due to its deep body and sloping sides, its buff clay, and its bright red orange glaze. Cat. 270 was purchased in Greece. Cat. 271 presumably comes from Tunisia, due to its similarity to lamp no. 122 from Raqqada; both lamps have the same light clay and dark brown, nearly black slip (Ennabli, Salomonson, and Mahjoubi 1973, no. 122, pp. 89 and 117).

Banner image: Detail of cat. 269