A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology The Collections:
PotWeb: Ceramics online
@ the Ashmolean Museum
Early Europe & Near East
Classical to Medieval
Europe from 1500
Oriental & Islamic
Prospectus -- Ceramics in the Ashmolean
Islamic ceramics in the Ashmolean
EA1956.183 (detail)The Ashmolean's very fine collection of Islamic ceramics offers a concise but comprehensive overview of Islamic pottery from the 9th to 18th centuries AD. Much of it was given by two leading collectors, Sir Alan Barlow and Gerald Reitlinger.

EA1956.66; Barlow GiftEarly Islamic ceramics
The early Islamic ceramics include unglazed and alkaline glazed wares linking the Islamic traditiion to the Sasanian past. There are fine examples of 9th - 10th century Iraqi splashed, blue-and-white, polychrome and monochrome lustre wares as well as Samanid slipwares, and 10th - 11th century sgraffito ware.

EA1974.48; Gift of American Research Centre in EgyptEgypt
The collection includes fine 8th century wares, excavated by the American Research Centre in Egypt and large quantities of sherds of Fatimid lustre, Mamluk sgraffito, blue-black-white and related medieval wares.

EA1956.58; Barlow GiftIran and Syria 12th - 13th century
The collection demonstrates the full range of stonepaste ceramics produced in northern Iran (Kashan) and Syria (Tell Minis and Raqqa) during the later 12th - 13th centuries. Silhouette (slip) wares, underglaze painted, lustre, and overglaze painted wares are all represented.

EA.X3272; Fortnum GiftLater Wares
Highlights are the very fine Safavid blue-and-white wares from 16th-18th century Persia, and an important Iznik collection. The Persian II-Khanid and Timurid periods are also well represented. In addition there are 14th-15th century Syrian wares, and collections of Islamic tilework of most periods. The fine Hispano-Moresque wares are held in the Department of Western Art.

J.W.Allan, Medieval Eastern Pottery Ashmolean Museum (Oxford 1971)
J.W.Allan, Islamic Ceramics Ashmolean Museum (Oxford 1991)
J.W. Allan, Islamic Art in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford Studies in Islamic Art 10 ii (1995)
Eastern Ceramics and other works of art from the collection of Gerald Reitlinger.
Catalogue of the memorial exhibition
(Oxford 1981)

EA1978.1683; Reitlinger GiftWhat PotWeb can achieve
Altogether the Islamic collections include almost 1,000 complete vessels and over 37,000 sherds.
EA1956.183A web-based teaching course on the history of Islamic ceramics is already online (http://islamicceramics.ashmolean.org/) but major areas of the collection have yet to receive the scholarly attention they deserve. In the view of the curator responsible for the collections, Professor James Allan, Keeper of Eastern Art, PotWeb is the ideal vehicle to remedy this and to bring the entire collection for the first time to a truly worldwide audience of scholars, students and the interested public.
Important material that cannot presently be displayed because of space constraints will be made available online, and PotWeb will also make possible interactive displays for visitors to the collection within the Museum, educational packages will put the pottery into its historical, social and economic context.

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last updated: jcm/1-oct-2002