Late Roman Pottery Rider

£ 550.00

A fine Late Roman terracotta figurine of a horse and rider. This statuette reflects a classical equestrian motif highly popular during the Roman period. A male rider clad in drapery and cap rides atop an impressively rendered horse, shown in profile. Details of the horse’s saddle, bridle, and facial features are finely modelled and still visible, as well as details incised around the rim of the rider’s cap. Seams at the side of the figure and its unworked reverse suggest it was at least partially produced using a mould, a typical mode of Late Roman statuary production.

Date: 2nd - 4th Century AD
Provenance: Ex SM, Mayfair London collection 1970-99, thence by descent.
Condition: Fine; a few small stable cracks and one small hole; minor earthly deposits.


Product Code: RES-162
Category: Tags: ,

Terracotta figurines were extremely popular throughout the Ancient Mediterranean. Particularly in the Roman Empire, such figurines were often produced using moulds. Moulds simplified the production process and enabled the quick and identical reproduction of popular motifs. The cut hole at the back of the figurine would have allowed for ventilation during the firing process and possibly also movement within the kiln with the use of a tool. Before firing, the figurine may have been covered in a white slip and painted. Terracottas such as this were most often used as votive offerings for graves or shrines, and occasionally as decorative objects in common homes.

To discover more about the making of Roman terracotta figurines, please visit our relevant blog post: The Making of Terracotta Statuettes in Antiquity.

Dimensions W 15 x H 22 cm

Southern Europe



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