Lead-glazed vessels were a Roman invention developed between the second-half of the 1st century BC. They continued to be produced until the 1st century AD. The terracotta vessels have a layer of thick glaze covering the exterior surface. Made from a mixture of silica and other minerals, predominantly lead, this discovery allowed potters to create a range of different colours. Vibrant turquoise greens, mustard yellows and rich browns could be added to the existing palette of red and black. This technique expanded the artistic repertoire, creating unique terracotta pieces. The process of creating lead-glazed vessels were costly and involved twice-firing the ceramic. Space was needed around each piece, to give the glaze room to drip freely. The inability to stack pieces into a kiln also increased the cost of production. Lead-glazed pieces originated in Syria and spread West, with inferior productions made in the Gaul. The practice died out largely due to the expensiveness of the production and the newly invention of blown glass.
Roman Green Lead-Glazed Terracotta Bowl
A fine Roman lead-glazed terracotta bowl featuring straight sides with a prominent rim leading to a conical base and a ring foot. The bowl sits at a slight slant. The sides are enriched with eight figures of cupid in relief. Each one is in a different a stance preforming a different action.
Condition: Fine condition, several repairs to the side and base.