This replica of a Roman oil lamp is moulded from the original in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum.
Roman lamps were very simple devices, consisting of an oil chamber and a projecting nozzle. Olive oil, the fuel most often used, was introduced through a filling- hole in the top of the chamber and a wick, normally of linen, was inserted into a wick- hole pierced in the nozzle.
The original of this fired clay lamp was made from a two- piece mould. The base has an impressed planta pedis or maker's mark possibly with the letters CCLOD indicating that the lamp came from the workshop of Caius Clodius, a lampmaker working in Italy. Roman, AD 40-70.
To fill the lamp pour olive oil through the hole in the well of the lamp. Allow the wick to soak up oil for a few minutes before lighting. Stand the lamp in a saucer or on a small plate to avoid staining.