A published Roman North African Terra Sigillata Ware Bottle, ca. 3rd century CE
A published Roman North African Terra Sigillata Ware Bottle, ca. 3rd century CE
A published Roman North African Terra Sigillata Ware Bottle, ca. 3rd century CE
A published Roman North African Terra Sigillata Ware Bottle, ca. 3rd century CE

A published Roman North African Terra Sigillata Ware Bottle, ca. 3rd century CE

RP2103

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Reference:        RP2103

Culture:             Roman

Medium:           Clay

Dimensions:     Height: 6 5/16 inches (16 cm), Diameter: 3 11/16 inches (9.4 cm)

An excellent example of African Red Slipware (ARS), the large terracotta bottle with a bulbous body sitting on a low ring foot, a disc rim separating the long tapered neck and the spout, a decorated handle applied below the rim and at the shoulder, the body decorated with applied reliefs of a lion attacking a deer/bull/boar and a fish/snake element divided between three single strands of palm fronds.

African Red Slip was the final development of terra sigillata.  It was heavily influenced by the earlier Arretine ware from Italy and Samain ware from Gaul, but was by far the most successful and popular type, flourishing for almost five hundred years. Produced in the North African provinces of Africa Proconsularis, Byzacena, and Numidia in modern-day Tunisia, it gained popularity throughout the empire in the third century, overtaking the previous two types. Characterized by a thick orange-red slip over granular fabric, and decorated either plainly with simple grooves or, as seen here, more elaborately with either applique reliefs or stamped motifs of palm leaves, animals, humans, mythological scenes, and eventually Christian symbols.

Ref: Charleston, R.J., Roman Pottery, London: Faber and Faber (1955), pp. 21 - 23, pl. 23B.

Condition:    With expected minor surface wear, overall intact and in very good condition.

Provenance:  The Hanita and Aaron Dechter Collection, Los Angeles, acquired before 1989. Ex. Harmer Rooke Galleries, NYC, 8 April 1985, no. 137. 

Published: K. Hamma, ed., The Dechter Collection of Greek Vases, San Bernardino, 1989, no. 54.

Exhibited: San Bernardino, California State University; and Art Galleries, California State University, Northridge, The Dechter Collection of Greek Vases, 5 May-2 June 1989 and 26 February-30 March 1990.

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