Brown-Glazed Oil Lamp - LO.700, Origin: Central Asia, Circa: 1100 AD to 1200 AD, Dimensions: 2.5" (6.4cm) high x 5.75" (14.6cm) wide, Collection: Islamic Art, Style: Seljuk, Medium: Earthenware. Monochrome glazed lamp with a closed body, a long spout and a large leaf-shaped thumb- piece. The body is cylindrical, with a small filling hole joined to the open spout,opposite a loop handle and on top an three-lobed palmette shaped large thumb-piece. The thumb piece carries a moulded decoration of foliage and the whole surface is covered with a brown glaze. This type of lamp seems to follow metal protoytpes, that would eventually indicate an Egyptian origin. Indeed they are known as 'coptic' lamps, since they were already made in pre- Islamic times, as early as the 4th and 5th centuries AD. Yet a very similar bronze lamp with a lid over the central filling hole and with a flat, openwork and incised thumb-piece in the Bumiller Collection was attributed to Iran and dated to the 12th and 13th centuries. For a discussion on 'Coptic lamps' see: Dahncke,Monika, Fruhislamische Bronze - Ollampen und Ihre Typologie, 1992: p.58.
Ancient Near East