oil lamps made in Italy
Lighting items > Oil lamps

Oil lamps - Pewter · Glass

Oil lamps have been widely used ever since ancient times. They comprised a container for the oil and one or more spouts. Oil lamps are mentioned in Homer's Odyssey (XIX, 34) and they were also used on Crete during the Mycenaean civilisation (remains of oil lamps were found in the ancient palaces of Knossos and Haghia Triada). Oil lamps were later used by the Phoenicians and the Greeks who handed them down to the Romans during the fourth century b.C.. In around the middle of the eighteenth century, oil lamps were further developed in Italy when they began to be made of silver or pewter featuring a reservoir attached to a rod supported by a wide base. The production of oil lamps declined towards the end of the nineteenth century when more efficient sources of illumination became available. However, limited production survived into the twentieth century but only for decorative purposes.

Curiously enough, as well as being an ancient means of illumination, our oil lamps can also measure time. This is because the oil level inside the ampoule decreases regularly; the flame illuminates the graded rod so that it can be used in the evening, too.



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vegetable oil lamp
Vegetable oil lamp
cm h 21,5
10360     ASSISI
oil lamp
Oil lamp
cm h 8,5
8456     LUCEO