An oil lamp, made of either bronze or terracotta, would have stood on the bell-shaped top. Such an arrangement formed the normal way of providing artificial lighting in the main rooms of a Roman house. A number of similar candelabra have been found at Pompeii and the other sites that were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1915. Greek, Etruscan and Roman Bronzes. no. 1315, pp. 375-76, New York: Gilliss Press.