Victoria and Albert Museum

Three ancient pieces form the Victoria and Albert Museum today. First this beautiful small shallow bowl, the label says Gubbio Italian dish 1520 – 30 Tin glazed earthenware. Obviously hump mounded, you could see the potters hand marks on the back.

Second, a fairly large jar from Southern Italian tomb about 200 BC. This Italio-Greek jar with winged female heads and winged love gods follows a typical Italian shape. Earthenware painted with black and white slips and other pigments.

Third, and my favourate from Iraq, probably Basra 850 – 900
This tiny bowel is reduction fired lustre. Iraqi potters were the first to use lustre on ceramics. Around 850, they adapted the technique for glass making. Lustre wear was practiced through out the Middle East. By about 1150, the main centre was Kashan, in Iran. A treatise written there in 1301 by the potter Abu’l-Qasim contains detailed technical information on how to make lusterwares which he described as “shining like the light of the sun”.