Oil lamp with decoration of a theatrical mask
Oil lamp with decoration of a theatrical mask75-160 AD
Roman lamp of the so-called Firmalampen or canal lamps (in this case forms Bussière C VII). There is the signature or brand of its manufacturer, FORTIS, clearly defined in the outer part of the piece, in the center of a circle.
Thanks to this stamp, we know that it was made in the city of Mutina (Modena, Italy), at that time integrated into the Cisalpina Gaul. This workshop made a great production of canal lamps that spread everywhere. It also seems that other productions were made with this brand in Lyon, Trier, Bern, Frankfurt or Rome, which were perhaps imitating the original workshop, because the success of the pieces. On the Peninsula they have been found in several places as diverse as Empúries, Mataró, Tarragona, Astorga, Palencia, Maó, Conimbriga, and now also in Badalona, where some fragments were already known and where was found this piece that is almost complete (it lacks only part of the beak).
A feature of these oil lamps is that most of them do not have a handle – although there are some models that do have them. Some have two or three nipples around the disk in order to be able to pass a string and hang the oil lamp. This lamp has, in this case, three perforated nipples.
Highlights include the well-preserved relief decoration of a tragic theatrical mask. With a Flavian hairstyle and long hair, it has also marked nose, almond-shaped eyes and an open mouth, characteristic of theatrical masks from the imperial era.
This piece, which appeared in the excavation works of the Plaça de la Ciutat Romana in Badalona in 2016, is one of the few models of this type of lamp that has three nipples to hang it.Material: Molded and varnished ceramics Dimensions: 10x7,5x4 cm Ref.: 18049