Extremely rare Roman clay mould for a 'factory lamp' of Loeschcke Type X.
Top mould, impression for lamp with discus, channel and nozzle within continuous rim and two lugs on shoulder. Places for filling-hole and wick-hole raised to mark where these should be pierced on the lamp.
Two raised bosses (to fit corresponding hollows on the bottom mould) and registration mark on front (to align with corresponding mark on the bottom mould).
Factory lamps (Firmalampen) of Loeschcke Type X were an ingeniously functional design produced mainly during the late 1st - 2nd centuries AD and aimed primarily for use by the Roman army in the frontier regions (limes) of Europe.
Fine pinkish-buff clay.
8 x 8 cm., impression: 6.5 cm
Losses and chips as seen.
Very similar to an example (MV 109200) from the military settlement at Vindobona (modern Vienna) and now in the Wien Museum.
While plaster moulds for late lamps from North Africa have survived in quite large quantities and are fairly common on the market, the clay moulds for lamps of the early Roman period are extremely rare. That situation applies even more to moulds for European factory lamps.
Ex collection of Robert Flourance, Virginia USA, acquired 1970s-80s.
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