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

Loeschcke type VII variant and VI/VII variant


Exact parallels to cats. 276 and 277 have not been found. With its small size, egg-shaped sturdy ring handle, ribbed top, and peculiar nozzle, cat. 276 is a variant of Loeschcke type VII. It is closer to Goethert’s lamp no. 619 (Goethert-Polaschek 1985, pl. 68) than to Loeschcke’s lamps nos. 649–50, whose filling-hole is surrounded by a ridge (Loeschcke 1919, pl. 1). Nevertheless Goethert classifies her lamp no. 619 as Loeschcke type VII, not as its variant.

Cat. 277 is characterized by its small size, egg shape, and, most of all, its peculiar nozzle flanked by two very small side knobs reminiscent of volute-knobs of earlier types. It can thus be classified under the mixed form derived from Loeschcke type VI/VII and identified by Goethert as “eiförmige Henkellämpchen mit Volutenknöpfen” (Goethert-Polaschek 1985, p. 147). In fact, its transverse ring handle does not appear on the Trier examples, but transverse handles were in favor on late Vogelkopflampen (Bailey type M). This latter type was produced between Late Flavian and Hadrianic times, a period corresponding roughly to the chronology attributed by Goethert to Loeschcke type VI/VII.

Neither Loeschcke type VI nor type VII, of which the two Getty lamps are variants, was ever very popular. These two forms, represented by a small number of lamps, seem to be unknown in Italy. Loeschcke considered his type VI a purely Gallic artifact (Leibundgut 1977, p. 34). Both types are distributed in Germania and Gallia (Rhone Valley), with very few examples found elsewhere.

Banner image: Detail of cat. 276