Roman Redware Bowl with Panthers


A Roman redware bowl on a low ring foot. The flattened lip is decorated with appliqués of two panthers and two leaf motifs. There are grooves around the rim and in the centre of the floor. The bowl is supplied with custom display stand.

Period: Roman colonies of Northern Africa: Circa 350-450 AD.
Condition: Complete and intact; a few light earthy accretions.

In stock

SKU: AS-3679 Category: Tags: , , ,

Although this bowl comes form the colonies of Northern Africa, the panther would have been a familiar sight across the Roman Empire. The venationes (“hunts”) and other spectacula (“shows”) of ancient Rome saw exotic species (including panthers, elephants, and bears) procured from all corners of the Roman Empire – a conscious demonstration in itself of the nation’s extensive reach and authority – and placed in the amphitheatre for gory entertainment.

Panthers are also notable for their role in Graeco-Roman mythology, often appearing alongside Bacchus (god of wine) in artistic depictions. Indeed, the deity typically wore a panther skin, and so perhaps this bowl enjoyed use in the Dionysian context of a Roman dinner party.

For more information about the meanings of animals in Roman art, see our relevant blog post: Animal Symbolism in Roman Art.

Weight 173.7 g
Dimensions W 14.5 cm


Pottery and Porcelain

Reference: Cfr Roman Pottery; Charles Ede Ltd April 1999. The form is Hayes 52 (pl. Xia). For the panthers compare JW Salomonson, op. cit. in BABesch XLIV fig 60 (Bulletin van de Beschaving (The Hague).

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