Ancient Roman Terracotta Shellfish Platter

Description
Ancient Roman Terracotta Shellfish Platter
Circa 2nd-4th century AD

A rare, beautiful, rectangular-shaped redware platter (lanx) with scalloped edges to the short sides. The centre concaves to contain food, most likely seafood such as oysters or mussels, judging from the shape. An incised scroll and linear details decorate the flat top.

This item was made to be used at the table by an ordinary Roman household, and would have been ideal for laying out appetisers (the course called gustum) like cold meat or small fish around the rim, or to bring the famous fish sauce called garum, made, according to Pliny the Elder, from 'intestinis piscium ceterisque quae abicienda sint sale maceratis' ('from the innards of fish and the refuse that will be otherwise thrown away, mixed with salt', HN,31,93").

Measurements: 33cm length

Provenance: From the private collection of John Lawton collection, Surrey, UK; formerly in a Cambridge collection since the 1990s.

Lot details
Culture
Ancient Roman
Material
Terracotta
Object
Shellfish Platter
Century/ Timeframe
Circa 2nd-4th century AD
Condition
Good Condition, See Photo
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