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Samian ware bowl


Diameter: 22.000 cm

Gift of F. Ransom

P&EE 1915 12-8 54

Room 49: Roman Britain

    Samian ware bowl

    Roman Britain, 1st century AD
    made at La Graufesenque, southern Gaul (modern France); found in London

    This bowl was made in southern Gaul, in La Graufesenque, in the Toulouse area. The form is a good example of a decorated bowl from the first century AD. It is shallow, with a sharp angle (carination) in the profile. This angle creates two narrow horizontal zones for the decoration. This was achieved by impressing the designs onto the interior of a mould, and the vessel then was thrown in the mould which was mounted on a potter's wheel. The decoration was frequently derived ultimately from Roman architectural ornament.

    Bowls of this form are categorized as Dragendorff 29, after the German scholar who made the first systematic numbering of Italian and Gaulish terra sigillata ('stamped clay') pottery in the 1890s. They are often stamped on the interior with a potter's name, but because this is the name of the person who made the bowl rather than the mould, there are problems in relating the names closely to the styles of decoration.


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    On display: Room 49: Roman Britain

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