Oil Lamp

The Show


Oil lamp 13th–15th centuries, Fustat (medieval Cairo), Egypt Glazed ceramic Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 1970.4.423

Oil lamp

Oil lamps made in Fustat (medieval Cairo) during the Mamluk period are generally simpler in form and cruder in design than their predecessors. This small turquoise-glazed lamp is essentially a wheel-thrown saucer that is pinched to form a spout. It has a central chamber for oil, and its simple handle is tucked within the cavity. This type of lamp could be made quickly and easily, unlike the molded and wheel-thrown pieces, which required greater skills to produce and assemble.

Bibliography: Kubiak 1970, 15–16, fig. 15.

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