Lamp with erotic scene

A Roman lamp of the volute type given the symmetrical decorations around the hole for the wick. The central disk is decorated with an erotic scene in high relief, showing a naked couple on a bed. The woman is reclining on her back but slightly leaning forward bringing her face towards the member of the man standing over her.

Ancient Roman lamps were small utensils, normally made from terracotta, which were used by the ancient Romans to provide artificial light. They were fuelled by olive oil and had from one to a dozen wicks. Some had handles so they could be moved easily from one room to another. They could also be carried by participants in ritual activities or by actors in plays.

Lamps could be decorated with erotic scenes, with gladiators, mythological figures and floral motifs. They were turned out en masse using moulds rather than being hand crafted.

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