ostracon ancient art



Roman Bowl with Oceanus Heads and Fishes, North Africa, 350-400 AD

The rim is decorated with facing Oceanus heads alternating with fishes.

The finely rendered heads show bushy beards extending to both sides and goat-like ears.

The lobster claws expected in the hair of Oceanus are mistakenly rendered as ram horns, the usual attribute for Zeus Ammon.

The Greeks believed Oceanus to be the titan of water, seas, lakes, rivers, oceans, streams and ponds.

For an almost identical bowl, cf. Louvre AO6639 (pl. 2, fig. 6, p. 102 with description on p. 107, no. 8) in: Jan W. Salomonson. „Spätrömische rote Tonware mit Reliefverzierung aus nordafrikanischen Werkstätten“, pp. 4-109 in: BaBesch. XLIV, 1969.

Fine bowl on a low ring base, the floor with a concentric groove on the bottom, the flat rim with a fine groove around the outer edge.

Shape form 52B – Hayes 1001-1020 – fig. 32, pl.51, pp. 221-222.

Intact, choice example.

D. 15 cm (5.9 in)
H. 4.7 cm (1.9 in)

French private collection, sold at Commissaires-Priseurs de Metz.

1350 USD

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BaBesch.: Bulletin van de Vereeniging tot Bevordering der Kennis van de Antieke Beschaving.
John W. Hayes. Roman Pottery and Fine-Ware Imports. The Athenian Agora. Vol. 32. Princeton 2008.

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