Roman pottery was used for utilitarian purposes and widely produced throughout the empire in specialised workshops. These workshops created distinctive forms blending local and Roman decorative traditions and production styles. A broad division between ‘coarse’ and ‘fine’ ware is normally used to classify the wide range of Roman vessels. The former being used for storage and transportation purposes, while the latter is comprised of serving vessels or tableware with intricate relief or painted decorations. Fine wares were used for more formal occasions and can be distinguished by its thin walls, glossy surface and decoration. The barbotine technique was used to adorn tableware. The process involved applying wet clay to the vessel, creating a textured design, before firing the piece.
Roman Red Slip Barbotine Cup
A very fine red slip cup featuring a globular body which tapers in towards the flat circular base. At the top is a large out-splayed rim with a single small handle applied at the shoulder. The upper body of the vessel is enriched with a floral design in high relief created using the barbotine technique.
Provenance: Acquired 1980-2015. Ex Abelita family collection.
Condition: Very fine condition, some minor chips to the body and encrustation to the surface.