Roman Provincial
Imperial Period
mid to late 1st century A.D.

Place of Manufacture: Middle Rheinland, Germany


Height: 13.6 cm (5 3/8 in.); maximum diameter: 14.3 cm (5 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Black Glaze, Relief decoration in the barbotine technique

Not On View


The Ancient World



A jar, whose body swells upward and whose shoulder curves sharply inward and is topped by a rounded rim. The foot of the vase is marked by a slender rounded moulding. The body is decorated with two zones of foliate decoration rendered with dots and lines of liquid clay (barbotine technique). The zones are bordered by rows of dots. In the upper zone is an ivy vine, with blossoms represented by triangles of 15 dots, five on a side. In the lower zone, the long sides of the triangles of dots are adjacent to the upper border and touch the lower border with their points. The triangles alternate with crescents that likewise extend from the upper to the lower border.
The vase was dipped in a glossy black slip, which covered most of the surface to just below the lower decorated zone. The surface of the ceramic body below the slipped areas and on the interior is gray.
The vase was put together from many pieces. Four large losses have been filled: two at the rim, one below the shoulder and one at the foot.


By 1991: with Sotheby's, 1334 York Ave., New York, NY 10021 (Sale no. 6196, June 18, 1991, lot no. 306); purchased at Sotheby's sale by Jerome M. Eisenberg, Royal-Athena Galleries, 153 East 57th St., New York, NY 10022; purchased by MFA from Royal-Athena Galleries, March 26, 2003

Credit Line

Benjamin and Lucy Rowland Fund