Small earthenware lamps, made from double molds, were the most commonly used source of light during the Coptic period. A wick produced from plant fiber or linen fabric was placed in a reservoir filled with oil, generally castor or sesame oil, and illuminated. This red earthenware lamp depicts a person playing the flute seated in a tree-top hut. The image is enclosed by a broad rim decorated with concentric circles alternating with flowers.
Count Grigory Sergeievich Stroganoff, Palazzo Stroganoff, Rome (until d. 1910); his daughter, Princess Maria Grigorievna Scerbatov, Palazzo Stroganoff, Rome (from 1910); Elia Volpi, Florence (until 1927; his sale, American Art Association, NewYork, March 31–April 1, 1927, to MMA)