Journal of Roman Pottery
Vol 3, 1990 page 114
650Moser, F & Tilhard, J-L,
'Un nouveau centre de production de céramique sigillée:
Brive (Corrèze)', Société Française d'Etude de la Céramique
Antique en Gaule, Actes du Congrès de Toulouse, 9-11 mai 1986, 1986,
Following the presentation of this paper at the 1986 meeting of
the SFECAG at Toulouse, the discussion (published in a section
following the paper) was opened by Main Vernhet, excavator at La
Graufesenque, who said, "We have just witnessed the birth
of a new child: the workshop at Brive. As with a child, one
looks to see whom it resembles..." This paper concentrates
on some mould-decorated figure-types, some mould-decorated
bowls, and some Drag form 35/36 bowls. A much fuller report has
since been published: see entry no. 651.
F & Tilhard, J-L, 'Un nouvel atelier de sigillée en
Aquitaine', Revue Aquitania Tome V. 1987, 35-121.
See also entry no. 650. The discovery of a new samian production
centre, confirmed by excavations in 1986 and by analyses of the
fabrics of the vessels found, must count as a momentous event in
Roman pottery studies. This is an extremely detailed publication
of the results of several years' study of the evidence, which
only became conclusive relatively recently, although Brive can
now become the legitimate source of a considerable number of
elsewhere identified as "?La Graufesenque, unusual
style". The report includes a large number of figure-types,
motifs, and examples of moulds and mould-decorated sherds and
vessels, as well as the results of a wide range of technical
analyses, and general conclusions. It is fortunate that such an
important occurrence has been published so quickly, and so
Journal of Roman Pottery
Vol 4, 1991 page 109
963 Ferdiére, A (with Ch Gendron),
'Catalogue des poinçons décoratifs sur sigillée du "Groupe
Centre-Quest", Revue Archeol du Centre de la France, T.
28 (2), 1989, 179-215.
See also entry no. 962. This is effectively a miniature version
of George Rogers' Poteries Sigillée de la Gaule Centrale I,
Les motifs nan figures (1974), for a production of sigillata
known as the Centre-West Group. This is a samian production of
the 1st and 2nd centuries whose products are found roughly
between Orleans and Poitiers, and between Argenton-sur-Creuse
and Angers, but whose actual centre of production has yet to be
determined. The paper has a catalogue of some 25 pages, in which
it presents all of the known mould-decorated poinçons (unlike
Rogers, including all the human figures as well), many of which
have clear connections with South and Central Gaulish poinçons.
The importance of this production, in regional terms, would
appear to be on a par with that of Brive (cf JRPS 3, entry nos.
650 & 651), although unfortunately some of the drawings in
this report are not as sharp as would be desirable.
Nevertheless, as Peter Webster points out below in his
discussion of Guery 1990 (entry no. 969), the diffusion of these
smaller production centres has been hitherto somewhat neglected,
at least on this side of the Channel, and publications such as
this begin to paint a much more detailed picture of the nature
of samian production.
of Roman Pottery Studies
Vol 4, 1991 page 117
*1015 Vuaillat. D, Desbordes, J-M.
Lintz, G. &: pautrat, Y et al, 'Limousin', Gallia
Informations, 1987-88 (1), 161-211.
Reports include a local samian workshop (with moulds
illustrated) from Brive la Gaillarde (Corréze) (see JRPS 3,
entry nos. 650 & 651).
of Roman Pottery Studies
Vol 5, 1992 page 154
1243 Tilhard, J-L,
Moser, F &: picon, M, 'De Brive à Espalion: bilan des
recherches sur un nouvel atelier de sigillée et sur les
productions céramiques de Brive (Corrèze)', SFECAG, Actes
du Congrès de Cognac, 1991, 229-258.
tsg (Espalion & Brive)/hpb/ccc/rgh/osd
It seems that the joyous announcement by Alain Vernhet following
the paper by Moser and Tilhard at Toulouse, "we have just
witnessed the birth of a new child: the workshop at Brive"
(see JRPS 3, entry nos. 650 & 651), was perfectly
justified, but they had got the wrong baby! This paper shows
that while the moulds and various fine wares found at Brive were
indeed probably locally-made, the samian wares were probably
made at Espalion, in the valley of the Lot to the northwest of
La Graufesenque. Although the writers had had some doubts about
the homogeneity of the Brive material from the start,
confirmation of this surprising turnabout was possible only
following an intensive programme of chemical analyses, which
included examination of the kiln furniture and the moulds as
well as the pottery from both sites. Obviously the full
understanding of the two sites was initially hampered by the
relative lack of archaeological investigations, and recent
survey work has still not produced the kilns or kiln deposits
which might resolve many outstanding questions, but the analyses
have clarified the most important questions. While Brive does
not now appear to have been a major production centre for early
samian, it was undoubtedly a producer of fine wares, such as
'hairpin' barbotine-decorated beakers and rouletted bowls -
material dating from the end of the 1st century through the end
of the 2nd. Espalion, or, more precisely, a workshop somewhere
in the region of Espalion, and probably in the Lot Valley, was
undoubtedly a producer of both plain and mould-decorated samian
from the reign of Tiberius (probably) to that of Domitian or
early Trajan. Espalion, and also Carrade (further west on the
Lot) are workshops heavily influenced by La Graufesenque -Espalion
is described here as a satellite to that major production centre
- whereas they show, by contrast, no influence at all of either
Banassac or Montans.