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Chippenham Samian Ware
Chippenham Samian Ware
Chippenham Samian Ware
Chippenham Samian Ware
Chippenham Samian Ware
Chippenham Samian Ware
Chippenham Samian Ware
Chippenham Samian Ware

Chippenham Samian Ware

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 This stunning replica of a Roman Samian ware bowl from around AD 70 - 130, is based one discovered in the back garden of antiquities expert Marc Allum in Chippenham, Wilts.  The original would have been made in Gaul (modern day France), before making it’s way to Wiltshire, where it eventually ended up buried deep in the ground.  In the 15th century, a vicarage was built on the site, which is now the home of Marc and his family, but the bowl remained undiscovered until 2018. 

This is a really exciting find, as evidence of Romans in Chippenham has been very scarce,  “The archaeologists are absolutely thrilled, because it is probably one of the best things that has been found in the town "  (Marc Allum)

"It is perhaps evidence of a Roman farmstead - it would be the perfect location for it," Marc said. "This is rewriting the history of Chippenham - we knew the Romans had been around here but never found enough evidence to say there was a settlement - and now we have."

The original bowl  was kindly donated to Chippenham Museum by Marc Allum and in now on display there for everyone to enjoy. 

This replica has been made using the same hand and wheel forming techniques that would have been employed by the original Roman potter, nearly one thousand nine hundred years ago. 

As with all such decorated Samian Ware bowls, the process of recreating it began with the making of a set of punches, of exactly the same designs and dimensions as those used by the original mould maker. These were carved from fine terracotta clay and once fired, were used to create the design within the bowl mould. This mould was in turn fired to a temperature of 1000°C, then mounted onto a potter's wheel, where, while spinning at speed, the final bowl was formed within it.

After drying for some hours the bowl, having now shrunk by a few millimetres could be removed from the mould, replaced onto the wheel and the foot-ring added. After a further period of drying the pot was dipped into the colloidal terra sigillata slip (liquid clay), which when fired, gives the pot its characteristic colour and shine.

Finally, after drying for another week the bowl was fired to nearly 1100°C.  All of these processes are based on those used by Samian Ware workshops in Gaul during the first, second and third centuries.


Find out  more about the original here  -


Terracotta, red slip finish


Approx 210 mm diameter 130 mm tall


This replica Roman pot has been handmade in Northumberland by Potted History, inspired by the original which was kindly lent to us by Chippenham Museum, but was brought to us by Marc himself.  Who stuck around for a couple days to help piece together the sherds of this stunning bowl so that we could create a truly authentic replica of this Chippenham treasure. 

Health & Safety

As with all of our Museum quality replicas, this piece has been fired to achieve an authentic finish. Like the original it is not glazed, as a result this pot does not meet modern food safety standards and, although decorative, I would not recommend that this pot be used for its original purpose.
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