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A Roman jug

Late Roman Republic or the Imperial period


Height: 21cm
Height (excluding handle): 17cm

Museum number: HR5

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 443help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

The handle of this jug terminates at the point of contact with the body in a stylized palmette pattern; the lip is framed in a moulding pattern.

Although the shape of this jug has antecedants in fifth-fourth century South Italian and Etruscan painted vases and pottery, this example in bronze and a number like it belong to the later Roman Republic and the Imperial period. They have been found in scattered areas throughout the Empire, testifying to the popularity of this utilitarian household shape. An example in New York "of elongated shape, with circular mouth and high handle"1 is said to have been found in the Hauran, Syria, and a jug with higher handle in Cassel2, Germany, has the patina peculiar to objects from the volcanic deposits of Pompeii. A jug of this type in the Louvre3 has a more elaborate rim and three rings on the body, and there is another comparative example in the Karlsruhe collection in Germany4.

Finally, for the pursuit of Roman household utensils in a more detailed study, there are about half a dozen bronze vessels quite similar to this - in sizes varying from slightly larger to about half the size - in the utensil collection of the British Museum. The E. Gorga collection in the Terme magazine contains at least two examples with their original handles and also from Italy is another example with incised decoration in Cortona5.

1 Richter, Bronzes, p. 194, no. 511.
2 Bieber, Cassel, p. 89, no. 387, pl. LII.
3 De Ridder, Bronzes, II, p. 112, no. 2720, pl. 98.
4 Bronzes, p. 104, no. 561, pl. X, 15.
5 EA 1976 and refs.

Provenance help-art-provenance


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