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HOME : Biblical Antiquities : Archive : Early Christian Terracotta Oil Lamp
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Early Christian Terracotta Oil Lamp - PF.5576
Origin: Tunisia
Circa: 200 AD to 400 AD
Dimensions: 5.5" (14.0cm) high
Collection: Biblical
Medium: Terracotta

Additional Information: sold

Location: United States
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This oil lamp would have lit homes during the early flourishing of Christianity. The center of the lamp is decorated with a most extraordinary image. The Virgin Mary is depicted rising into heaven, a theme that would not become prevalent in art until the Renaissance. She holds a cross in her right hand as two angels swoop down beside her and assist her ascension. She has a halo, confirming her sanctity. A lamb, the symbol for Christ, is shown underneath her feet. This remarkable work is metaphor for joy and prosperity, for hope, for life itself, lamps have illuminated the path of civilization for centuries; they have guided great thoughts through the night, stood vigil with lonely passions. In the presence of this simple object, we are directly in touch with a vanished world, with the people once warmed by its glow. Today, it remains as an enduring symbol of man's desire to conquer darkness. - (PF.5576)


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