Oil lamps used to be the mostly used means of artificial lighting in ancient and even medieval times. So it should not come as a surprise that many people decorated their oil lamps with many different images and reliefs. In this case the decoration shown is the Zodiac sign of Leo. Romans handled their zodiac signs similar to the way we do today - so depicting a lion, or Leo, is an accurate and authentic decoration.
Furthermore, the lamp at hand is fully functional. It does not only serve decorative purposes! If you want to experience what it was like to light a room like the Romans did, then this is the piece you need. But be careful and only use vegetable oils - preferable olive oil. Temperautres generated by modern lamp oils burn too hot and can destroy the lamp itself as well as pose a massive fire hazard.
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