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Openwork Lamp with Inscription

mid 6th century
21 cm (8 1/4 in.)
silver and niello

On view


This lamp is decorated with triangles and a nielloed inscription. Below the rim (with three circular loops for chains), there is a broad band with turning and an inscription in niello. The remainder of the body is done in openwork, except for hexagonal bottom area, where there may be traces of stamps.Turning on the under side, ther us a short baluster stem, aand circular foot, also with bands of turning.

S. A. Boyd, "A Bishop's Gift: Openwork Lamps from the Sion Treasure," in Argenterie romaine et byzantine: actes de la table ronde, Paris 11-13 octobre 1983, ed. F. Baratte and N. Duval (Paris, 1988), 191-202, esp. 193, no. 3, pl. II,3.

S. A. Boyd, M. M. Mango, and G. Vikan, Ecclesiastical Silver Plate in Sixth-Century Byzantium (Washington, D.C., 1992), 29, 45 n. 51, 174, 178, Checklist no. 43, Table I no. 12.

L. Boura, and M. G. Parani, Lighting in Early Byzantium Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection Publications 11, (Washington, D.C., 2008), 42-43, no. 3.

H. G. Meredith, Word Becomes Image: Openwork Vessels as a Reflection of Late Antique Transformation (Oxford, England, 2015), 242, no. 74.

Acquisition History
Originally found near the village of Kumluca, Turkey.

Purchased from George Zacos (dealer) by Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, Switzerland, 1965.

Given by Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss to Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., 1965.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Byzantine Collection, Washington, D.C.