An extremely rare caneware oil lamp, in classical antique Roman low flat round form. The lid is decorated with a red clay (rosso-antico) bas-relief depicting “The Archers at the Statue of Diana”, with an applied leafy scroll sprig which curls up into a small handle on the round lid.
The spout has a stylised anthemion type moulding on top. The handle is seven sided in a scroll form.
The base has an impressed ‘WEDGWOOD’ mark and a letter ‘A’. Made circa 1785-1805, Josiah Wedgwood, Staffordshire.
I have been unable to find any published examples of this oil lamp in caneware. However, very rare examples are known in both black basalt and jasper ware, both of which types have a letter ‘Z’ rather than the ‘A’ mark as on this caneware example. See “Stonewares and Stone Chinas of Northern England to 1851” (1982) p.64, pl.75 for a black basalt example and also “The Dwight and Lucille Beeson Wedgwood Collection at the Birmingham Museum of Art…” (1992) by E. B. Adams, p.265, pl.402 for a jasperware version.
The main period of caneware production was c.1785-1810. It first appeared in Wedgwood’s invoices in late 1776 but in a letter to Bentley in Jan 1771 Wedgwood said “we are making lamps of various sorts”. They were used with Colza oil.
This example is in poor condition, and my photos in this instance are similarly poor (the yellow is not right). However this is without doubt an extremely rare survivor and I am unaware of any other caneware examples in existence.
125mm long / 47mm high to top of handle.
Caneware ‘Roman’ oil lamp with rosso antico sprig of “Archers at the Statue of Diana”, Wedgwood.
The spout and part of the front of the body has broken off and been poorly re-glued (an old repair). There is a short tight hairline from the rim near the handle (on reverse side) about 25mm long. The lid has been cleanly broken in two halves and almost invisibly re-stuck. Other very minor chipping to the anthemion moulding on spout etc.
It could easily be restored but displays beautifully as it is.