Italian Lamp with Crab
Circa Late 1st-Early 2nd Century AD
Description: Mould made lamp with voluted nozzle and crab depicted in raised relief on the central discus, Loeschcke Type IV, shoulder form VIIb. The crab, rendered in sharp detail, sits within the sunken discus with claws stretched in front of it and four legs splayed on each side of the body as if in the midst of walking. The crab is symbolic in Roman art of the astrological sign of Cancer.
There is a filling hole beneath the crab. Separating the scene from the rounded shoulder are two concentric impressed grooves. The voluted nozzle is rounded at the end with a larger hole for the wick. The underside is flat with an impressed circle framing the potter's stamp L. M. ADIEC (Lucius Munatius Adiectus).
Length: 3.75 in. (9.3 cm)
Condition: Intact with crisp detail. Some wear to the red glaze.
Provenance: Formerly a German property.
Reference: See A Catalogue of the Lamps in the British Museum, Volume II: Roman Lamps Made in Italy (1980) by D.M. Bailey, no. Q929 for a nearly identical lamp with a crab and no. Q984 for the same potter stamp.
Background: It is believed that the workshop of Lucius
Munatius Adiectus was located in central Italy
Price: $ 850
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