Large Roman Redware Bowl with Geometric Design


A fine large Roman redware bowl featuring a flat raised base. The sides slightly extend outwards towards the staggered out-splayed shoulder and a folded rim. The bowl is enriched with an incised geometric design. At the centre is a large dot with five leaves, equally spaced, extending outwards. A thin band encompasses the design followed by a row of concentric circles ending with another band. Slightly further out, the bowl is enriched with two bands of diagonal lines, separated by an incised circle.

Date: Circa 3rd-5th century AD
Provenance: The Oxford Library Sale, 1970's onwards.
Condition: Excellent condition, some minor surface chips tot the reverse and rim, earthly encrustation to the surface.


The bowl is made with terra sigillata technique (from Latin meaning ‘sealed earth) of north African provenance and constituted a precious kind of fine ware, reserved for the elites as a way to display prestige at banquets and dinner parties. The pottery is categorised by its orange/red colour and shiny surface. Red slip ware became popular around the first century AD and by the third century it was the most popular type of tableware used in the Late Roman household. Dishes or other pottery made in this style were influenced by religion and mythology, with earlier pieces favouring the Roman gods and legends, and later pieces depicting early Christian saints and other biblical scenes. Hunting scenes were usual Roman decorations, with the addition of ‘exotic’ animals such as lions, panthers or elephants being a common addition to the decorations.

Weight 1815.9 g
Dimensions W 40.1 x H 6.8 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


You may also like…