Oil lamps from past cultures

Oil lamps were the ubiquitous light dispenser in Roman antiquity. Of course, candles were also used, but oil lamps made of clay were found by archaeologists in every household.

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Roman oil lamps

Oil lamps are lighting fixtures, which are operated with oils as fuel. They were an important source of artificial light over thousands of years. With the Romans, the earthen light dispenser became a mass product. Some lamp manufacturers stamped their names on the bottom of the products. These pieces are known as workshop lamps. Many Roman oil lamps were also decorated. The area of the top which shows the design is called the mirror. Usually the oil filling hole is located here. The wick stuck out at the front of the lamp.

Oil lamps are older than candles

There are references to candles only from the 1st century AD onwards. And even for many centuries onwards candles were still more expensive than oil lamps. As the olive oil trade declined during the Middle Ages, people preferred wooden chips, torches and tallow lights in the countries north of the Alps. As the more expensive light sources, candles were used in the sacred areas.

Our oil lamps are manufactured in the traditional way from a two-part form in a very high temperature furnace. After cooling and drying, the symbols or images are fitted to the lamps as in antiquity, so that the wonderful red lamp is given a decorative surface.

Roman oil lamps a traditional craft

Our Roman oil lamps are manufactured in pure manual work and comprise the making in a two-part form, as in ancient times. The upper and lower halves of the oil lamp are modeled together in the mould. After burning the lamp at around 1000 degrees, the lamp hardens. As you can use them today as they have been used in olden times, place them on your table, complemented with olives, wine and you will find that they are giving the room a special atmosphere. And don’t forget, these lamps are more durable than any candle or tealight.

Fuel for oil lamps

The Romans used fat, tallow or olive oil as fuel. The lamps with their small opening allowed the oil to rise up in the wick to only a few centimeters, so that the lamp provided a small, fine light. While the Romans used mostly olive oil, as this was abundant then, today you can also use normal lamps’ oil.