Tallow Oil Lamp
Tallow Oil Lamp
Tallow Oil Lamp
Tallow Oil Lamp
Tallow Oil Lamp
Tallow Oil Lamp
Tallow Oil Lamp

Tallow Oil Lamp

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Lamp Details

Although simple looking this tallow burning lamp, based on finds made by Museum of London Archaeology, was a vital tool in the Roman world as a source to light during the dark nights.  A fairly common find in London, there are also examples from Colchester and Europe that date from AD 43 until at least the mid-2nd-century.  

Residue testing has revealed that these lamps were most commonly used to burn tallow, rendered beef or mutton fat, but that olive oil was also used as fuel.  

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 thrown in three parts, the main body, the spout and the handle.  These three sections are then allowed to partially dry before being carefully trimmed to fit, and finally, each section is attached together to produce the final piece.  It is a fiddly process and required greater skill than the more common mould made lamps.  


Terracotta earthenware


Approx 165 mm long, 60 mm high

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.  With this being an open lamp the possibility of spillage is greater, so we would only recommend you use this lamp outside.  

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 (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 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