The production centres from thie region are the most diverse, with a wide range of fabrics (including lime-rich ones) produced. They are perhaps better characterised by a poor quality slip which tends toward orange.
A number of small workshops are subsumed under this heading. The related late Argonne Red-slipped ware, with its own distinct decorative style, is described separately in this volume.
Considerable variation in fabric colour and composition is usual for this group, ranging from orange-brown (2.5YR 5/8) to red-brown (10R 5/8). Surfaces also vary but are normally red-brown (10R 5/8), sometimes with paler and yellower patches giving an almost marbled effect. The slip is not of particularly good quality being matt or semi-lustrous, often with pimples in it and surface imperfections in the clay below the slip; nevertheless, the surface can still be described as smooth. The fabric is normally dense and well fired, often almost to the point of vitrification, resulting in a hard fabric with smooth fracture.
The inclusions in this fabric are generally well sorted, normally measuring c 0.1–0.2mm with occasional inclusions reaching 0.4mm. Unlike many other samian fabrics, limestone is sparse and tends to measure <0.2mm. Fine silver mica is common, with all remaining inclusions sparse: black iron-rich grains, quartz and, occasionally, matrix-coloured clay pellets. One sherd is from a mortarium and trituration grits comprise abundant ill-sorted angular and milky quartz, some polycrystalline, and sparse quartz sandstone (1.0–2.5mm). Although the sherd originates from Argonne, it is atypical, perhaps being overfired.
A micaceous (muscovite and rare brown mica) fabric with well-sorted inclusions. Quartz is common, normally <0.1mm, occasionally to 0.2mm, with fewer opaques and glauconite, and rare feldspar. Other inclusions are normally in the same size range, apart from rare poorly-mixed clay pellets and siltstone (to c 0.5mm).
Canterbury Museums; Museum of London
University of Nottingham (Oswald-Plicque Collection); Musée des Antiquités Nationales, Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France)
Bémont, C, & Jacob, J-P (eds), 1986 La terre sigillée gallo-romaine. Lieux de production du Haut Empire: implantations, produits, relations, Documents d’Archéologie Française 6, Paris
Chenet, G, & Gaudron, G, 1955 La céramique sigillée d’Argonne des IIe et IIIe siècles, Gallia Supplément 6
Oswald, F, 1945 Decorated ware from Lavoye, J Roman Stud 35, 49–57
Ricken, H, 1934b C. Töpfer von La Madeleine, Saalburg Jahrbuch 8, 133–60