After conquering Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War (146 BC), Rome established the province of Africa around the destroyed city. The province grew to encompass the coastlines of north-eastern Algeria and western Libya. ‘Terra sigillata‘ is a type of fine red Roman pottery with glossy surface slip, which was made in specific areas of the Roman Empire, such as North Africa. Terra sigillata is most easily identifiable by its clear and shiny red paint, as well as by the relief decoration, which is modelled, embossed, or applied. In addition, some vessels are impressed with stamps or “seals”. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that terra sigillata means ‘clay bearing little images’.
Roman North African Terra Sigillata Jug
A beautiful example of an ancient Roman terra sigillata pyriform jug. Made of red slip ware, it features a flanged foot and everted lip. The handle is moulded with a leafy spray at each side of a ridge. The fine decoration consists of five appliqués, showing a running boar on one side and a running rabbit on the other; tree palm-fronds serve as decorative dividers.
Provenance: Ex Gorny & Mosch 210, 2012, 422; ex Collection Paul Colin, acquired in the 1970s - 1980s.
Condition: Fine condition; complete and intact with signs of ageing on the surface.