Mortaria were the grinding and mixing bowls commonly used by the Romans. Most were made in plain, unslipped wares, and tiny bits of grit were often added to the inside of the bowl to aid the grinding process. This fragmentary rim, however, is an example in finer ware, terra sigillata, decorated with barbotine, or relief decoration. Such vessels suggest that some food preparation was carried out at the table, in front of the host and his dining companions.
1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan. no. 214, p. 287, pl. 358.