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

Dressel type 3


Lamps of this type have a rounded body and most often a ribbon handle; broad, slightly concave discus usually decorated with stylized floral patterns, marine creatures, or beasts, often in a pronounced relief; ear handles on both sides; anvil-shaped nozzle with slightly curved tip. A transitional form with ill-defined volutes hesitates between Dressel type 3 (derived from an older Hellenistic form) and Loeschcke type I, which it anticipates. This form has been redefined by Ricci as Dressel type 3 A (Ricci 1973, p. 199). A slightly raised circular base may bear a lampmaker’s mark, letters, or groups of small circles, as seen on Dressel type 2. The prevalent color of the glaze is red orange. The production area is central Italy, perhaps Rome itself, and the distribution area comprises mostly the western part of the Mediterranean basin. With the increase of Roman domination, the trade of this type of lamp transcends the coastal regions and penetrates to the interior: to the Rhone Valley, central Gaul, and the Rhine region. The type is soon imitated north of the Alps. In the east a few sporadic examples are recorded in Athens and on Corfu and Delos. The chronology is close to that of Dressel type 2: 90/80 B.C. to A.D. 10. The variant Ricci-Dressel 3 A, illustrated by cat. 73, belongs to the end of this period.

Banner image: Detail of cat. 72