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A fine North African red slip ware amphoriskos jug, with a tall, spiralled neck above twin handles decorated with palm fronds, leading to the globular body with applied decoration of a group appearing to comprise fish with a snake, four vertical palm fronds, and a tabella ansata (handled writing tablet) with the inscription PENTASI NIKA (May Pentasius win!). This is the name of a sodalitas, an association which had stage venationes (wild beast shows) in the circus. The tabella itself is upside down, probably the result of work by an illiterate slave.

 

Roman colonies of Northern Africa: Circa mid-3rd century AD.

 

Complete and intact: Extremely Fine condition; with light accretions.

Height 21 cms (8.3 ins).

 

Provenance: Previously in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. S., Ghent, Belgium: Acquired from Le Caducee, Brussels, in April 2011.

 

This type of high-quality pottery was made of fine clay in central Tunisia. Although fine red slip ware, the so-called 'Arrentine' ware, was first produced in Italy, African red slip ware was the most popular type of t