Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Lamp

Date:
5th–6th century
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Earthenware; molded
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.194.1814
Not on view
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. Religious symbols used as decoration, such as this variation of the Chi-Rho Christogram, the monogram for Christ 's name, were thought to offer protection for the lamp’s owner.
Julien Gréau, Paris; J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (by 1903–d. 1913; coll. cat., 1903, unpub., no. 288); his estate(1913–17; gifted to MMA)
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