Recently British Museum celebrated its 260th birthday, and on the occasion it had sent out a tweet asking for ‘your favorite museum object’. The museum being one of my favorites places, also contains a lot of objects which I over the years love revisiting, hence it took me a while to decide which is my favorite; the Nimrud perfume sample bottles. these were made in approximately 300 BC, yet their colours and the techniques of making is exquisite. The form stands the test of time, so do the colours.
In the process of looking for an answer for the tweet, a whole lot of photographs on Assyrian pottery came up and I decided to share them. These are from the British Museum Levant collection with is from the time period of 4500 BC to 3 century BC and continues on to a Persian collection, showing the development of pottery.
The various shapes and forms in the different period excavations, suggest the development of pottery from hand built to wheel, to extruding and fixing handles and making complex mixed forms. Most people who have learnt some hand building and wheel work will relate these forms to how they have proceeded with improving their skills. Notice the handles develop from just a pinch of clay to the curve. The most interesting of these are the abstract animal forms which even are evergreen and display a keep sense of observation at the artist level.
The aesthetic additions to these everyday objects make them special.