The type of oil lamp represented by this example excavated from Nishapur in eastern Iran may have evolved as a response to issues of portability. The tall stem and large handle allow it to be carried with ease. The saucer-shaped base not only helps to stabilize the piece but would also catch any oil that spilled from the sides of the lamp. Finally, the tightly pinched spout served to hold the wick steady. This type of portable lamp one of several forms found at Nishapur, speaking to a number of creative solutions to the problem of lighting employed at the site.
1936, purchased in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1937, accessioned by the Museum
Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1973. no. 5, ch. 11, pp. 264, 278, ill. p. 278 (b/w).