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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Roman-Style Lamp with Combat Scene
Lighting Devices
Work Type
lighting device
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

2.6 × 3.3 × 5 cm (1 × 1 5/16 × 1 15/16 in.)
Without handle: 1.6 cm (5/8 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Harry G. Friedman, New York, NY, (by 1965), gift; to the Fogg Art Museum, 1965.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Harry G. Friedman in memory of his son, Francis Lee Friedman
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Miniature moldmade oil lamp, from a plaster mold. Fired, beige clay with a black slip, brushed on white overslip, and applied incrustation (1). The lamp has a pear-shaped body with walls that flare up and out to meet a rounded shoulder, which is separated from a flat discus by a circular groove and ridge.
The discus is pierced by a filling hole to the left and below center, and ornamented with a tiny figural pair. On the left, a nude male with a long sword in his right hand faces frontally, with left leg slightly to the rear and head down. Winglike projections emerge at both of his shoulders, and with his left hand he grasps the hair of the likely female figure to the right. She appears in a pose of defeat, fallen to her knees with right leg extended to the left and both arms raised above her head. The shoulder is decorated with a motif of curling vines in relief interspersed with raised circles.
The nozzle is at the narrower end, marked off by a raised, flat oval plate around the wickhole. A plain ring handle rises at the rear of the discus. The lamp rests on a flat teardrop-shaped base with a maker’s mark in relief of the letters NMI with the N reversed.
The lamp is intact, with only miniscule chips in the slip to reveal the clay body beneath. There is applied incrustation on the surface that includes small iron deposits.

1. Clay color: Munsell 2.5 Y 8/2; slip color: 2.5 YR 5/0

Publication History

  • Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), Artemis (Zürich, Switzerland, 1999), Achilleus 786; Amazones 558; Penthesileia 56d.

Subjects and Contexts

  • Roman Domestic Art

Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at