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.
Roman Redware Bowl with Six Circles
A fine Roman redware shallow bowl featuring a flat raised base. The sides rise up and slightly curve in towards the rim. The smooth outer and inner walls present faint ridges, showing how the clay was worked during the wheel-production process. The centre is decorated with six incised circles, each enriched with three bands of dots interspersed between three concentric circles. The design is framed by a simple band.
Provenance: The Oxford Library Sale, 1970's onwards.
Condition: Excellent condition, some surface chips, earthly encrustation to the surface.