Plate with handles

A carefully crafted plate made from terra sigillata. The base is flat and the thin everted walls end in a triple grooved rim. There are two equidistant handles coming from the rim. The distinctive feature of this plate is the decoration on the handles: they feature volute moulding which brings to mind the technique used on paterae and metal platters.

Sumptuous dishes in silver and bronze were worked with gravers and other tools which gave volume and gadrooning to the decoration of the handles and appliqués. This prototype is called a dish with “ears”, and was very popular in the Bay of Naples in the 1st century AD.

“Terra sigillata” refers to the type of clay pottery used by Romans which was characterised by a bright red colour and a glossy finish, and which was generally marked with a stamp (sigillum, in Latin) with the name or mark of the potter. Although material produced this way was considered fine dinnerware, the production was highly standardised.


- HAYES, John. Handbook of Mediterranean Roman Pottery. 1997.
- FROEHNER, Wilhelm. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appurtenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan. Paris. 1903. n. 259, p. 291.
- STRONG, D. E. Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate. 1966. p. 148-9.
- “Hellenistic and Roman Pottery in the Northern Pontic Area”, Papers of the State Historical Museum, v. 102. Moscow. 1998. p. 40.

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