Skip to Content
Closed today, next open Thursday. Closed today, next open Thursday.

Conical Lamp

A work made of glass.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of glass.

Date:

275–300

Artist:

Roman; Eastern Mediterranean

About this artwork

This lamp was meant to be suspended from polykandela, or chandeliers, which hung from the ceiling. The early Byzantines, like the Romans before them, typically burned olive oil for light. Lamps made from glass such as this were more expensive than the numerous surviving terracotta examples, and they were likely used to light the most important part of a church, such as, the altar or the nave. Keeping the lamps lit was costly, and generous donors gave endowments to churches to literally keep the lights on. Emperor Constantine, for example, donated the revenue from seven large estates specifically for the maintenance of 174 lamps, polykandela, and candlesticks in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Conical Lamp

Origin

Mediterranean Region

Date

275 CE–300 CE

Medium

Glass

Dimensions

14.6 × 6.4 × 6.4 cm (5 3/4 × 2 1/2 × 2 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Theodore W. and Frances S. Robinson

Reference Number

1949.1116

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/67398/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share