‘Terra sigillata’ is a type of fine red Roman pottery with glossy surface slip, which was made in specific areas of the Roman Empire. Terra sigillata is most easily identifiable by its clear and shiny red paint, as well as by the relief decoration, which was modelled, embossed, or applied. In addition, some vessels are impressed with stamps or “seals”. The terra sigillata pottery style was common throughout the Roman Empire from the 1st to the 7th century, with the main bases of production in the African province (modern day Tunisia and Algeria) and the city of Aretium (modern day Arezzo). The interior reliefs were likely attached using liquid fired clay and moulded into the shapes. Alongside Roman mythology, divine representations from other ancient religions were adorned onto redware pottery, with biblical stories becoming a prominent feature on this type of pottery.
Roman Redware Bowl with Fish
A Roman redware bowl decorated with moulded fish motifs to the centre. The vessel features gently sloping walls, creating a deep bowl, which rests on a small foot. Inside are three reliefs of different fishes. Each fish is intricately crafted to show scales and facial features, along with elaborate tail and fin details. The marine decoration possibly connected with the fish contained in the bowl which was used to present food to the table. The bowl is made with terra sigillata technique 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.
Condition: Very good condition, intact with signs of an early repair