Roman Oil Lamp, Mercury Riding A Rooster
Roman Oil Lamp, Mercury Riding A Rooster
Roman Oil Lamp, Mercury Riding A Rooster

Roman Oil Lamp, Mercury Riding A Rooster

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Lamp Details

The exact meaning of this motif is unclear, although images of young men riding roosters do appear in Greek art, where the reference clearly depicts the tradition of give a rooster as a love gift. 

Another interpretation, although the two versions are not mutually exclusive, is that the rooster represents the birth of a new day, whilst Mercury is the bringer of good luck and good fortune.   

This type of lamp would have shone out through the dark winter nights across this far northern outpost of the Roman Empire, providing a warming glow in houses, temples, military camps, milecastles and turrets along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. The lamp is a fully functional replica, that can be used to burn olive oil just as the original would have done. Before attempting to use your lamp you must read the operating and safety instructions.


Each lamp is made using a process that replicas that of the original Roman potters. Every lamp is carefully hand pressed into a specially made lamp mould, where it is left to dry until it is solid enough to remove. It is then trimmed of excess clay and hand finished, before the wick and filling holes are cut. Finally each lamp is individually hand dipped in a red slip finish before it is fired.  


Terracotta earthenware with a red slip finish


Approx 120mm long

The lamp is available in both white clay and red terracotta. Approx 120mm long


Health and Safety

Before attempting to use your lamp you must read the operating and safety instructions. 

Burn ONLY OLIVE OIL in your lamp.

DO NOT use modern lamp oil or other flammable liquids.

Place the lamp on a stable, non-absorbent and non-flammable surface, far from any sources of heat. 

Always snuff out the flame, never blow it out. Never use water to extinguish the flame.

DO NOT attempt to move or pick up you lamp whilst it is lit.

Ensure that there are no flammable materials above or near the lamp. 

DO NOT leave your lamp unattended whilst it is lit.

Keep the wick trimmed very short to ensure a clean, bright flame and to reduce the risk of fire.

This lamp is not a toy KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

Use of this lamp is at your own risk, we can not take responsibility for accidents or injury caused by use of this lamp.

Extinguish the lamp by snuffing it out with a metal spoon. 



Before filling your lamp adjust the wick so that it does not protrude above the edge of the wick    aperture.

Fill the lamp with olive oil through the filler hole in the centre (allow the wick to soak for 1 hour before lighting for the first time).

Light the lamp.  If the flame produces smoke, shorten the wick.  This can be done by gripping the wick with tweezers through the filler hole and gently turning them round, winding the wick back into the wick aperture.  This should not be done whilst the lamp is lit or the wick is still hot. 

All items are sent using a second class postal service, if you wish to have an item sent first class please contact my for a quote. Many Thanks