عربي Français
Collection Highlights

Oil lamp bearing animal motifs

Oil lamp bearing animal motifs
© BA Antiquities Museum/M. Sobhy

Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 0950

Inv.Inventory
 (M. of Islamic Art) 23937/6

where to find


showcase 32

Oil lamp bearing animal motifs

Category:
Furniture and furnishing, lighting / heating equipment, oil lamps
Date:
Islamic Period (641-1517)
Provenance:
Unknown
Material(s):
Man made material, pottery (terracotta)
Length:
10 cm;
Width:
7.5 cm
Hall:
Islamic Antiquities, showcase 32


Oil Lamps

Oil lamps are known to man from time immemorial to help him see in the dark or to work at night.  They were made of different materials, although pottery was more widespread.  The lamp was a container for oil and salt which were added into it through the middle hole, while the wick was inserted through the spout and floated on the oil.  The ancient Egyptians knew this type of lamp, but theirs had no spout.

The lamps were sometimes covered with a layer of glass and decorated from the outside with different scenes from everyday life, animals or plants.

Pottery

Pottery is made of clay which is shaped by hand and on a potter's wheel or placed in moulds then left to dry and to bake in a special oven.  Its decoration is either by painting , notching, piercing, by placing it in special moulds or by using the barbotine technique.

A particular type of pottery was made famous during the Mameluke period.  It was red in colour, cheap to produce and had a glaze, the latter lending its name to it: "glazed pottery".  It represents a rich record of social and political life in Egypt during that period and it also shows the fine ability of the Muslim artist.


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • سوزان الكلزة، الفنون الصغرى، الإسكندرية: مطبعة الحضري، 1999.
Discover The Museum Collections