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The  Durobrivae of  Antoninus - Plate 48

P48.Fragments of fine red ware.jpg

Artis never completed the words to accompany his drawings. The images below include interpretations provided by modern day archaeology specialists.

The Decorated Samian Ware (Terra Sigillata)

E.T. Artis was among the first to produce accurate drawings, in both shape and decoration, of what he referred to as 'fine red ware'. Although samian ware had attracted the attention of the early antiquaries for its striking colour and decoration, its scientific study did not start until at least half a century after Artis, making his achievement all the more remarkable.


The standard forms in which samian ware was produced were first classified and given numbers by the German scholar Hans Dragendorff in 1895, numbers which we still use to describe the forms today. The commonest form for decorated bowls in the late first and second centuries was a hemispherical bowl, Dragendorff's form 37, referred to here by Artis as 'bason shaped' (sic). A carinated bowl, with vertical upper zone, form 29, was produced in the first century until c.AD 85. A small fragment of the upper zone of such a bowl (Plate 48, 7) is described here as 'wall sided'. Manufactured throughout the period, though less common, is a cylindrical bowl, form 30, also described as 'wall sided' (Plate 50, 2). It is interesting that this term is still used to describe certain types of Roman pottery today.

The figure types were first classified and numbered by Joseph Déchelette in 1904, followed by a fuller index published in 1936-37 by Felix Oswald. Artis' figure types and decorative motifs are drawn with a remarkable degree of accuracy at as near to full size as perspective permits, enabling an attempt to be made, in the light of subsequent research on the potters who used these types, to identify the styles of individual potters. 

There are more examples of samian ware on the following pages:

Plate 44

Plate 50

Plate 52

Plate 48.1


A sherd from a hemispherical bowl (Dr 37) showing a freestyle animal scene. The panther and the leaf used as a space-filler were used by Cinnamus, one of the most prolific of the Central Gaulish potters at Lezoux.


He also used the ovolo, an egg and tongue motif which traditionally topped the decoration, though its use here with a straight guide line running beneath it is typical of the work of a related potter, Secundus.


The rivet hole shows where the bowl was repaired in antiquity. It is likely to have been made c.AD 145-175. 

F Wild - January 2019

Plate 48.2


A sherd from a hemispherical bowl (Dr 37) showing a freestyle animal scene in the style of the potter Criciro of Lezoux, who used ovolos of this type with a rosette tongue, the lion, the stag and the leaf-tip space filler.


The rivet holes, one containing a lead rivet, show that it had been repaired and may have had a long life in use, but its date of manufacture is likely to have been c. AD 135-170.

F Wild - January 2019

Plate 48.3


A hemispherical bowl (Dr 37) from the South Gaulish pottery at La Graufesenque, near Millau. The bowl shows zonal decoration, typical of the earliest examples of the form as it developed from form Dr 29. The upper zone shows festoons containing triangular leaves; the lower, a leaf-scroll with a boar in the lower concavity.


The boar was used by various potters, though mainly on Dr 29. Dr 37 was first produced c.AD 70, though was rare in Britain before c.AD 75. The bowl has been repaired, with a rivet-hole at the base and another, still containing part of the rivet, in the rim. c.AD 75- 95.

F Wild - January 2019

Plate 48.4


A small sherd of a Central Gaulish bowl (Dr 37) from Lezoux. Decoration shows a freestyle scene with a horseman and leaf-tip space fillers below an ovolo with wavy-line border.


The horseman was used by a number of different potters, though of these, most used bead rows, not wavy-line borders. One potter who occasionally used bead rows is Paternus, and this could well be by him or one of his associates, though this is not one of their usual space fillers. If so, the date is likely to be c.AD 160-195.

F Wild - January 2019

Plate 48.5


A sherd from a Central Gaulish bowl (Dr 37) with panel decoration. The large-beaded borders suggest the work of the potters Doeccus and Casurius of Lezoux, though the combination with a horizontal wavy-line border makes Casurius the more likely.


The large leaf in the left-hand panel occurs on the work of both potters, as does the vase with acanthus beneath the urn. The small leaf beneath the animal types was used by Doeccus. Whether the hound was the one used by him is uncertain. The boar looks closest to one used by Cinnamus. Doeccus and Casurius were clearly associated, sharing many types.


Casurius was at work c.AD 155-190, Doeccus slightly later, c.AD 170-200.

F Wild - January 2019

Plate 48.6


A sherd from another Central Gaulish panelled bowl (Dr 37) with large-beaded borders in the style of Casurius of Lezoux. Although some of the types and motifs were shared with Doeccus, all were used by Casurius; the sea creature and the leaf above it, the upright motif in the next panel and the saltire decoration with its leaf and bud motifs. c.AD 155-190.

F Wild - January 2019

Plate 48.7


A small sherd from the upper zone of a carinated bowl (Dr 29), showing a leaf-scroll. The bowl was made at La Graufesenque in South Gaul, where this was the most common decorated form in the 1st century until c.AD 85. The bowl is not one of the later examples of the form and is likely to have been made c. AD 50-70.

F Wild - January 2019

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