59. ROMAN SAMIAN WARE POTTERY SHERDS

A large group of Roman Samian Ware (Terra Sigillata) pottery sherds. From a variety of forms, inlcuding cups and bowls. Some with decoration.

When I'm out walking in the English countryside and I spot a shiny red pot sherd in the soil, it always gives me a thrill. Instantly recognisable, with a smooth surface, rich tomato-red colour and finely crafted, it is the classic Roman ceramic find.

Samian Ware (Terra Sigillata) was the fine tableware of Roman Britain and much of the northern Roman Empire. It was mass-produced under factory conditions and the finished pieces often had a manufacturer's stamp which provides excellent information about its distribution and dating.

The precursor to Samian Ware was “Arretine Ware” named after the region of Arretium (modern Arezzo) in Italy where it was first produced.

Most Samian Ware found in Britain was originally imported from Gaulish factories. The word Samian probably derives from the Greek island of Samos because this style of pottery originated there. In Britain, some native Samian forms were produced at Pulborough (Sussex), Colchester (Essex) and also possibly London during the second century AD. The product from British Potteries is of a lower quality than Gaulish examples.


Condition: Sherds as seen.

Dimensions: Mostly large pieces, some rejoined.

Provenance: Ex. Private collection Berlin Germany. Purchased at auction.

Price: SOLD

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