Ceramics is one of the most ancient industries on the planet. Once humans discovered that clay could be dug up and formed into objects by first mixing it with water and then firing, the industry was born. As early as 24,000 BC, animal and human figures were made from clay, fired in primitive kilns partially dug in the ground.
About 10,000 years later, as settled communities were established, tiles were made in Mesopotamia and India. The first use of functional potter vessels for storing water and foods and clay bricks are thought to be around 9,000 - 10,000 BC.
The Chinese started making ceramic pottery as early as 3500 BC. By the time of the Tang dynasty, which began in 618 CE, there were many different colors of glazes being used. The Tang dynasty also saw the development of the first true porcelain. During the two dynasties that followed, the Sung and the Yuan, the making of porcelain became an art form.
Asian pottery and ceramics of all sorts can be found within the collection. Antique ceramics and ceramic arts have been brought in from all parts of the world. Antique pots and vessels have been excavated from ancient sites and from underwater recoveries. These unique finds are in extremely limited and rarely available.