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representing two stags butting at each other, with their antlers entwined, and near them a figure, dressed in the Roman tunic, is taking aim at one of the combatants with bow and arrow. The execution is rude and probably of late date. On the bottom of a broken piece of Samian ware, found at the same locality, and now also in the same gentleman's possession, the potter's name is stamped Patirati. Of.—a contraction of very frequent occurrence in potters' stamps for officini. Thus by means of the operations of a modern railway, we recover the name of an ancient potter, of the first or second century. This name it may be added, does not occur either in the York or London lists, nor among the numerous examples in Colchester collections.
In the collection of the Scottish museum, an exceedingly interesting variety of specimens of Roman pottery, and particularly of Samian ware, are preserved. Among these are a large and very fine collection from Colchester, the ancient Camulodunum, and what, from their rarity, are still more valuable, one or two interesting fragments of embossed Samian ware from the neighbourhood of Alicant in Spain. In addition to these must also be noticed variouis specimens of the same fine pottery, including two vessels nearly entire, brought from Tangier by Mr. Hay, who resided there as British consul-general of Morocco. Mr. Hay has accompanied them with the following note, des iptive of one of the specimens of Roman pottery, discovered by him in Africa. “A drinking cup of red pottery which appears to be of the better times of the Roman empire, if it be not of an earlier time. It was found (with the prettily embossed fragment that is within it,) on digging out the foundation of a small Roman house near to the Danish consulate gate in Tangier, in July 1836. The name of the potter impressed at the bottom of the cup within, is indistinct, but looks like ITSVS, a lively imagination may read IESVS." Possibly the
náme, which is described as indistinct and doubtful, may have been that of IABVS, which is frequently found on London pottery.
Another of these African relics of Roman civilization is not less interesting from presenting in its stamp the rare feature of the Arezzo type, a neatly impressed sandal, with the letters C. 0. C. Two others also correspond in general character to the Arezzo stamps. One of them has the name Agate. The other is apparently a series of contractions and initials. But the whole of them possess a peculiar interest to us from the indications they afford of the same ancient Roman civilization contemporaneously present on the coasts of Barbary and in the British isles.
The Spanish fragments of Roman ware in the same collection, want the potters' names, but their ornaments in relief admit of comparison, and both present what is styled the festoon and tassel border exactly corresponding with the London types, and differing from those of Arezzo, so that both were probably derived from Gaul.
But another and no less interesting feature on this class of fine Roman pottery is the frequent occurrence of names on the vessels, evidently executed after they have been entirely finished and stamped with the maker's name. These, it does not seem an extravagant inference to suppose, may be the first owners of the vessels, and if so, would suggest the idea of greater value having been attached to them than would otherwise be imagined from their occurring in such quantities in all localities where the Romans were established for any length of time. On the under side of one of the fragments of a shallow cup found at Tangier, the name Chilonis is thus introduced. It is somewhat rudely done; while on the upper side is a very neat stamp of the Arezzo type. Such names are by no means uncommon, and are frequently seen on the Roman pottery found in London, presenting us in fact with the
rude autographs of their old British or other native own ers, in the early centuries to which they belong.
Examples somewhat analogous to these occur on rude small cylindrical cups of unglazed red clay, found in a Roman cemetery at Valienciennes in France. The rims are flat, and fully three-tenths of an inch broad. A name is traced on each ; on the one Claudius Goth, on the other Mariniana. The letters are neatly and regularly executed, and appear to have been done before the clay was exposed to the fire of the kiln.
The extent to which the manufacture and use of this fine Samian ware was carried at the period of the Roman invasion, may be inferred from the fact, that upwards of 400 different stamps occur on London specimens. Both York and Colchester have added to the list, and the Roman sites in Scotland furnish farther additions. Among these many are barbarous in sound, and evidently foreigners, that is, not Romans. Many of the London ones are identical with those found in various parts of France; and the evidence seems at present to render it exceedingly probable that most of our finer kinds of pottery of the Anglo-Roman period must be regarded as importations from Gaul. We learn, however, from the various specimens referred to, to how great an extent commercial intercourse must have been fostered and extended throughout Europe by the Roman conquerors. The products of Italy and of Gaul are found together amid the relics of Roman occupation in Africa. They abound at every great Roman station of England and Scotland; and we may add, that ruder specimens frequently occur among the debris of Anglo-Roman potters' kilns, evidently native attempts to imitate the arts of the conquerors. From all these we learn by what means the Roman legions uprooted the evidences of barbarism in the scenes of their conquests, and proved themselves, it may be, harsh and bloody, yet no less invaluable missionaries of civilization.
This ornamental Samian ware which we have thus described, is worthy of much more careful study than it has generally received, from the illustration which its details furnish of early costume, public ceremonies, domestic manners, and even national morals. These vases appear to have frequently been entirely cast from one mould, but in numerous examples the design is made up by stamping a variety of ornaments and figures on the soft clay with separate moulds. This, indeed, is frequently done with little attention to relative proportion or consistency of design, Figures, animals, and ornaments are grouped together, in all varieties of sizes, and occasionally even turned topsy-turvy, when the potter found his stamps would not otherwise fit into the general pattern. The designs, however, even when thus heterogeneously jumbled together, are generally characterized by much grace and beauty when separately examined. They embrace a very extensive series of representations of figures and groups curiously illustrative of national and religious customs and ceremonies. Some of them exhibit frequent repetitions of figures, most probably imitated from the favourite sculptures of the Roman capital ; and among which, indeed, we detect both the Venus and Apollo. Others represent divinities, satyrs, griffins, sea-horses, and the like classical conceits, accompanied by suggestive and appropriate emblems. Military and triumphal processions and gladiatorial combats are no less common; and in these the variations between the Roman and the barbarian soldiery are well worthy of study, both by the artist and the classical student. The ornamental designer will find these specimens of Roman art no less rich in suggestive details. The borders of clustering grapes and tendrils, the vine-wreaths, and festooned garlands, and the almost endless variety of fancy patterns, would furnish a novel and rich field from whence to derive suggestions for the decorator. We have added, that in these stray frog.
ments of broken pottery, curious illustrations even of national morals may be found. We are led to form a high idea of the old Roman, when we discover him even in this remote province of the empire, indulging in the luxuries of a refined and elegant taste, and adorning the simplest domestic utensils with graceful symmetry of proportion, and great beauty of detail. But we must moderate our admiration when we discover among the ornaments of these elegant cups and vases that graced his board, designs so grossly sensual and vicious that only the most depraved tastes could either suggest or tolerate them. It is sufficient, however, that on this point we refer those who are curious in this department of classic art, to the speci. mens of ancient pottery to be seen in many antiquarian collections, reminding them at the same time of the allusion by Pliny to such depraved tastes :—“In poculis libidines cælare juvit, ac per obscenitates bibere.”
We would only add, in concluding this chapter, that it might prove a very fortunate speculation, were some of our modern British potters induced to revive the Samian ware of the second and third centuries, with such modifications as modern taste might suggest, and as modern habits may require. It appears that after the vessels had been thrown upon the wheel, the several compartments were separately stamped by the potter. By this means, though several moulds were required for a single dish, a comparatively small assortment of patterns sufficed, along with the variations in the general form, to produce an almost endless diversity of combinations. This is a hint which might probably be new to the potters of Staffordshire and Worcestershire, and in these days when novelty is so much sought after, the simplest way of arriving at it is frequently found by those who have the greatest faith in Solomon's maxim, that “There is nothing new under the sun !"