The following description was prepared by William Gross:
The festival of Chanukah is celebrated in the winter period around December and commemorates a Biblical story in which the Jews of the Land of Israel rebel against the Greek occupiers. They reclaim the desecrated Holy Temple in Jerusalem and, miraculously, the small amount of pure oil remaining is enough to keep the Temple light going for eight days. Lamps with eight burners are lit during this holiday, both in the synagogue and at home. Through the centuries, such lamps have taken a wide variety of forms.
While almost all Chanukah lamps take their specific style from influences in the dominant cultures in which the Jews lived, the lamp from Italy has a special distinction. It often drew its style from the classical Renaissance motifs that so permeated Italian life and culture, especially featuring such mask/faces. Additionally, this lamp was once coated with gold leaf, some of which has worn off with time. An additional example of such gold leaf covered brass cast lamps is in the Stieglitz Collection at the Israel Museum.