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

Dressel type 4 (Vogelkopflampe)


Lamps of this type have a deep rounded body; ribbon handle; and splayed, blunt nozzle, whose top has a relief decoration consisting of two stylized bird’s heads turned in opposite directions—hence their German appellation. The plain, slightly concave discus is surrounded by a wide, inward-sloping shoulder decorated with several concentric rings or one or two twisted cords or bands of closely spaced rays. The base is always flat, mostly circular, sometimes oval, and may bear incised workshop marks. Prevalent in central Italy, Vogelkopflampen are found also in Sicily, Sardinia, and on the Gallic, Iberian, and African coasts. Following the Roman military conquests of Spain and Gaul, the lamps penetrated further inland and into the Rhone and Rhine Valleys, where they were later locally imitated. They date to the Augustan period.

Banner image: Detail of cat. 74