Authentic Ancient Pottery Shards
Depicting Early Christian and Jewish Biblical scenes, Old and New Testament

North African red-ware pottery provides some of the oldest motifs and portraits of Old Testamend and New Testament Biblical characters. This pottery was influenced by the teaching of Saint Augustine of Hippo during the 4th and 5th century (AD 350-420) after the political conversion of the Roman by Emperor Constantine (AD 307-337). Constantine's conversion of the Empire from paganism to Christianity permitted for the inauguration of Christian motifs on public artwork. Many of Augustine's teachings, hopes, and allegorical hermeneutics are portrayed throughout these Christian images. Though pagan worship and cultic practice were eventually banned by the imperial administration, many classical artwork themes of the pagans continued from the past Roman world as the clash between paganism and Christianity struggled to cohabitate. It is evident that these themes made their way into the new art of these Biblical characters. Some biblical characters on African red-ware are portrayed with the classical look of the Roman gods among other forms of the continued pagan artistic tradition. African red-ware pottery provides us with an amazing window into the 4th and 5th century Christian world as influenced under the teachings of Augustine. Ex Santa Barbara County, CA collection.

Roman red-ware plate fragment depicting King Solomon! Roman North Africa, c. 5th Century AD. Scene from Solomon's judgment in 1 Kings 3:16-28. From the rim of a large bowl. Ref: Weidemann 1990. no. 1; Solomonson 1969 Abb 48-49, p. 40-41; Solomonson 1979 Pl. 14b p. 24. Measures 90x30 mm (3 1/2" x 1 1/8"). Fantastic! #AR2252: $250

Roman red-ware plate fragment featuring Mary! North Africa, c. 5th Century AD. May depict Mary, Martha or a woman from Solomon's judgment in 1 Kings:16-28. Ref: Weidemann 1990. no. 10; Garbsch & Overbeck 1989 no.63-64 p. 123. In two pieces that fit together perfectly. Measures 84x40 mm (3 1/4" x 1 1/2"). #AR2258: $150

Roman red-ware plate fragment featuring Mary. North Africa, c. 5th Century AD. May depict Mary, Martha or a woman from Solomon's judgment in 1 Kings:16-28. Ref: Weidemann 1990. no. 10; Garbsch & Overbeck 1989 no.63-64 p. 123. Measures 49x27 mm (2" x 1"). #AR2257: $150

Large Roman red-ware plate fragment depicting Paul!
Roman North Africa, AD 350 - 420. A very large Roman North African red-ware pottery shard depicting the Apostle Paul enthroned and would have been accompanied by a large Chi Rho and the Apostle Peter who would also have been enthroned next to him. This fragment is either from a Lanx or a Cover. 6" x 2" (15 cm x 5 cm) and 1/2" (14 mm) thick! Cf. Light from the Age of Augustine p. 54 no. 41; Similar piece found in the Musee Benaki, Athens; Ex Northern California private collection. #AR2675: $299


Roman North Africa, c. 4th-5th century AD. Biblical relevance! Nice redware plate fragment, depicting Jonah being flung overboard from his ship. Part of the famous "Jonah" cycle (Jonah 1:11-16).
44 mm (1 11/16") with light earthen deposits. Old auction sticker on back. cf. Light of the Age of Augustine, #29. ex-Royal Athena Gallery, NY. #AR2537: $275


Roman North Africa, c. 4th-5th century AD. Roman red-ware plate fragment depicting a scene from the Jonah Cycle, originally depicting The Prophet Jonah under the Gourd Tree. From the book of Jonah Chapter 4 - The prophet Jonah reclines under the bottle-shaped gourds as illustrated in the fourth chapter of Jonah.
(See example below!) W: 7 cm (2 3/4"). #AR2665: $125


Roman red-ware plate fragment depicting Jonah!
Roman North Africa, AD 350 - 420. A detailed and beautiful example of The Prophet Jonah under the Gourd Tree. 2 3/4" x 1 1/4" (7 cm x 3.4 cm). Cf. Jonah Chapter 4 - The prophet Jonah reclines under the bottle-shaped gourds as illustrated in the fourth chapter of Jonah. Other Redware pieces depict Jonah being thrown overboard, Jonah swimming, Jonah coming out of the sea monster, and an irritated Jonah, and Jonah sitting on a pile of rocks. Reference: Light from the Age of Augustine p. 42-43 no. 30; Jonah - Weidemann 1990. no. 2, 6; Solomonson 1969 Abb. 53-54, p. 45. Similar piece found in the Musee du Vatican. Ex Northern CA collection. (Same scene as example above!) #AR2673: $225

See Also:
Ancient Roman North Africa Red-ware: Main Page
Terra Sigillata & Samian Ware Pottery Fragments
Depicting Gladiators, Animals & Early Christian Iconography.



Roman red-ware oil lamp fragment featuring Mary. Roman North Africa c. 5th Century AD. From John 11 - Lazarus' Sister. This piece commemorates the resurrection of Lazarus as witnessed by similar pieces that also bear Lazarus wrapped in his tomb. The hairstyle of Mary/Martha recollect the female fashion of the late third to early fifth century in which a broad braid is folded up over the top of the head. Ref: Ennabli 1976. Pl. IV no. 104 variety; similar to Herrmann and Van Den Hoek no. 36 p. 48. Measures 103x43 mm (4" x 1 5/8"). #AR2253: $350 SOLD

Fantastic oil lamp with Biblical relevance!
North Africa, 5th century AD. Redware oil lamp depicting a scene from Daniel 3, 13-18. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is seated on the left, commanding the Three Hebrews to worship his image. He points to a bust upon a column before him. The Hebrews are shown wearing short pleated tunics with hoods over their heads. Large 14 cm (5 1/2 inches), with great red color and earthen and mineral deposits. cf. Light from the Age of Augustine p. 40 no. 28. A VERY rare depiction of the infamous Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar! ex-Harlan J. Berk. #AR2764: $475
SOLD

Roman North Africa, c. 4th-5th century AD. Roman red-ware plate fragment, depicting Jonah being flung overboard from his ship. Part of the famous "Jonah" cycle (Book of Jonah 1:14-16).
W: 5.5 cm (2 1/4"). #AR2667: $275


Roman red-ware lamp fragment depicting the prophet Daniel!
Roman North Africa, 350 - 420 AD. From Daniel Chapter 6. With nice style and detail. 1 3/4” x 1 5/16” (4.6 x 3.4 cm). Cf. Daniel Chapter 6 - Augustine used the victorious stories such as Daniel's and the three Hebrews as timeless models for the glorious triumph and freedom from death that comes from living for God. He also used the story of Daniel to relieve those under constraint, as in a letter to the presbyter Victorianus on the occasion of the barbarian invasions in Italy and Spain. Augustine used both stories to comfort Christians who were being led into captivity after these invasions. Reference: Solomonson 1979 pl. 1; p. 9, Ennabli 1976. Pl. V no. 115; Ex Northern California private collection. #AR2674: $175


Roman red-ware plate fragment with musician and dancer!
The Wedding of Thetis and Peleus.
Published!
Roman North Africa, AD 350 - 420. Beautiful Roman red-ware shard depicting wedding of Thetis and Peleus. A woman dances and plays the castanets, with another musician plays the pan pipes. 3 3/4" x 2" (9.7 x 5 cm). Published in Cornelius Vermeule's Light from the Age of Augustine p. 75, no. 75 (this piece); cf. Garbsch and Overbeck 1989 fig. 194. This fragment belonged to Cornelius C. Vermeule who was the curator of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This piece has also been published in Light from the Age of Augustine by John J. Herrmann Jr. and Annewies Van Den Hoek; Ex Northern California private collection. #AR2676: $499



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Related topics: ancient Biblical artifacts for sale, Jewish Old Testament Bible artifacts, Christian New Testament artifacts, Los Angeles California, ancient artifacts dealer Los Angeles



Roman red-ware sherd depicting the prophet Daniel. Roman North Africa, c. 5th Century AD. From Daniel Chapter 6. Augustine used the victorious stories such as Daniel's and the three Hebrews as timeless models for the glorious triumph and freedom from death that comes from living for God. He also used the story of Daniel to relieve those under constraint, as in a letter to the presbyter Victorianus on the occasion of the barbarian invasions in Italy and Spain. Augustine used both stories to comfort Christians who were being led into captivity after these invasions. Ref: Solomonson 1979 pl. 1; p. 9. Ennabli 1976. Pl. V no. 115. Measures 62x55 mm (2 1/2" x 2 1/8"). Fantastic finger-prints of the maker still visible on back! #AR2251: $350 SOLD


Roman shard with Abraham sacrificing Isaac! Nice red-ware lanx corner piece, Roman North Africa, c. 5th Century AD. From Genesis 22. Abraham is bearded and wears a workingman's short tunic with one shoulder uncovered (an exomis). He wields a double-edged sword with studded pommel. On hearing the angel's command…he turns his head upward, while he still holds Isaac's head over the altar with his left hand… Isaac, wearing a short tunic and with his hands tied behind his back, is bent over an altar. The hand of his father holds down the boys head preparatory to delivering a fatal stroke with his sword' Augustine used this story to share God's provision and deliverance. (Light from the Age of Augustine p. 34-35). Ref: Solomonson 1969 Abb 76 pp. 23-29; 58; Light from the Age of Augustine pp. 34-35. Nos. 22-23. Measures 65x56 mm (2 1/2" x 2"). Rare and nicely detailed! #AR2250: $575 SOLD



Roman North Africa, c. 4th-5th Century AD.
Incredible terra sigillata plate fragment depicting a large central chi-ro, partial V-shaped border decoration visible. Measures 3 1/2" (9 cm) x 2 3/4" (7 cm). Ex Royal Athena Galleries, New York City; Ex collection of Clemens Holzmeister (1887-1983), acquired between 1927 and 1954; Ex Hamburg private collection, acquired in the 1980's. A gorgeous piece from my own personal collection... I am in no hurry to see this one go! #AR2405: $499
SOLD


Roman North Africa, c. 4th-5th century AD. Apostles! A fantastic redware oil lamp fragment, with the busts of three of Christ's disciples / apostles around the edge. An ornate floral device in the center. 70 mm (2 2/3") with light earthen deposits. ex-Royal Athena Gallery, NY. #AR2536: $350 SOLD

Large Roman red-ware plate fragment depicting Adam! From Genesis Chapters 1-2. Roman North Africa, c. 5th Century AD. Adam holds a fig leaf to cover his nakedness from God. Eve would have been present on the opposite side of the dish. Ref: Light from the Age of Augustine no. 15 p. 29; Weidemann 1990 fig 3. Measures 92x74 mm (3 1/2" x 3"). Would go nicely paired with the "Eve" below! #AR2249: $275 SOLD

Roman red-ware plate fragment depicting Eve with olive leaf!
Roman North Africa, AD 350 - 420. Red-ware pottery shard depicting Eve with a leaf covering herself. A beautiful example with good detail. 2 1/4" x 2 1/8" (5.7 x 5.4 cm). Cf. Genesis 3:7 - Eve covers her nakedness with a fig leaf and gestures with her left hand. Her hair is caught in a large, loose bun and a braid hangs down her back. Reference: Light from the Age of Augustine p. 28-29. Similar piece found in the Musee de Mayence plate. Ex Northern California private collection. Would go nicely paired with the "Adam" above! #AR2672: $299
SOLD