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Footed Bowl with Winged Musicians

Arrentine ware is a specific type of red-gloss pottery that became popular in the first century BC. Named for one of its major production centers, Arretium in southern Italy, these pots are also referred to as terra sigillata and Samian ware. This type of pottery recalled metal vessels with engraved decoration, relief panels, and stamped elements, but the overall effect was not imitative. The unusual qualities of color and finish as a ceramic product seem to have fueled the appeal of Arrentine ware for the luxury market.

Many vessels were signed with a stamp that identified the artist (or master of the workshop). This footed bowl is marked in this way in the center of the bowl interior, but only a portion of stamp (AT...) is legible. The decoration centers on winged cupids playing musical instruments, a popular subject in the Augustan period.

Roman, probably made in Arretium (Italy)
Footed Bowl with Winged Musicians
Imperial period, 1st century BC–1st century AD
Terracotta, glaze
H. 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 79.9.6