Dubrovački muzeji


Collection of late medieval and modern ceramic and glass

Collection manager:
Liljana Kovačić, senior curator
e-mail: liljana.kovacic@dumus.hr

This collection was created as a result of archaeological investigations in the old city centre after the 1979 earthquake. The ceramic and glass shards are bits of kitchen and table ware from the 14th to the early 20th century. Most numerous among them are objects from the period from the 15th century to the great earthquake of 1667, the age in which the Dubrovnik Republic knew its greatest economic flowering. They are mostly the products of workshop centres in Italy, land of a rich ceramic tradition, with somewhat fewer from Spain (Valencia) and the Ottoman ceramic centre of Iznik (Nicaea).

Most common is slipware, with incised and polychrome painted decorations, finally glazed with transparent high-gloss glaze. The finest specimens have male and female figures, knights and ladies in clothing and with hairstyles of the period. Nor is pottery with opaque tin glaze over which the design is painted any less numerous. The zenith came with the introduction of Renaissance motifs, particularly from historical, mythological and biblical scenes, a characteristic of what is called the istoriato style, created by the famed workshops in central Italy, such as Faenza, Deruta and Montelup.

Much-valued ceramic ware with opaque glaze and lustre, as well as azulejos tiles, came from Spain. Luxury, polychrome Ottoman ceramics, produced in Iznik, were a favourite of 16th century Dubrovnik. It was produced of white clay, ground quartz and frit with the addition of lead, hitherto unknown. The forms and decoration were modelled on Chinese porcelain types and Ottoman metal shapes.