The Greek Lamp from Egan Bronze classical oil lamps cast in bronze with patina

The Greek Lamp from Egan Bronze classical oil lamps cast in bronze with patina, title

Limited Edition 300
Antique Greek
H. 2" W. 4" L. 5 1/8"

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With the Greek lamp (4th and 3rd centuries BC), came the end of the so-called “open body” lamps, and the introduction of the “closed body” lamp with a new function influence- a protrusion on the side of the lamp. This nodule or pierced lug had two important usages. It provided a convenient thumbhold for the slippery clay lamp, and, more importantly, it could be hung when not in use to prevent mice from drinking the olive oil, which apparently happened so often that it is mentioned in The Battle of Frogs and Mice, a parody of Homer's Iliad.

During this battle, Zeus asks Athena if she will help the mice, and the goddess refuses, “I would never go to help the Mice when they are hard pressed, for they have done me much mischief, soiling my garlands and spilling my lamps too, to get the oil.”

The potters who made these innovative “closed body” lamps did so in order to conserve fuel by preventing spillage, which was for commercial incentive and important for better home economics. The Greek lamp has a deep body and a long nozzle, and the walls of the lamp are keel shaped or carinated.

Greece, Rhodes - 1st half of 3rd cent. BC
Patinaed bronze

Classic Mediterranean Man image

Frank Egan 1999 - 2017