Brass hanging lamp: 12th century
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Brass hanging lamp consisting of a container for oil with six spouts to hold wicks, and an openwork 'tower'. Its decoration includs three lions and a small dish, to catch oil drips, hangs underneath. The suspension hook at the top is a modern addition and is used for display purposes. The lamp may have hung above the church's high altar. This lamp is similar to the traditional shape of a Jewish 'Sabbath lamp', lit in Jewish homes on Friday evenings and on the eve of festivals. A number of medieval lamps of this type have been found in England – all in towns that had Jewish communities before 1290 – and elsewhere in Europe. It is not certain that they are all Jewish – similar lamps may also have been used in Christian buildings.
1101 AD - 1200 AD