San Antonio Museum or Art

Recent Acquisitions

Lamps
Egyptian, Ptolemaic-Roman period, 3rd century B.C.-5th century A.D.
terracotta
Gift of Beryl Nowlin McCleary, 2012.25.1-38

The thirty-eight lamps in this group represent some of the many types of oil-burning lamps used in Egypt during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Lamps such as these provided essential lighting for household tasks and were sometimes deposited with burials. The lamps were made in molds and are decorated in relief with geometric and vegetal patterns as well as images of gods and animals. The example at right, above, takes the form of a stylized frog, a popular design in the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. Also included in the collection are a number of miniature lamps, which were used as votive offerings. Several of the lamps have the maker's mark inscribed on the bottom. Mrs. McCleary acquired the lamps while living in Egypt between 1963 and 1967.