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Indian & South Asian Ceramics & Pottery

India and South Asia have a rich and storied tradition of producing top-quality pottery, dating back millennia to at least 5500 B.C. During the Mehrgarh Period III (4800-3500 B.C.), the Indus Valley civilization gave momentum to Indian ceramics as a fully realized art form. Potters in this period were often nomadic craftsmen who traveled from village to village selling their wares. After locating suitable clay to fabricate their handicrafts, these early artisans would erect temporary kilns and produce cooking pots, bowls, and vessels on the outskirts of settlements.

Over the next several thousand years, the tradition of pottery expanded to all parts of India with distinctive styles emerging in each region. Around the 12th century, Arab settlers introduced glazed pottery to India as well as Mogul leitmotifs that continue to adorn various works of Indian pottery today.

These practices spread throughout South Asia during the next several millennia, developing characteristics reflective of the culture of each locale. Today, the tradition of Indian ceramics lives on as villages throughout India and South Asia often have a resident potter known as a Khumbar.


Quick Facts

  • Delhi and Jaipur are renowned for their blue pottery made from ceramic instead of clay. They are traditionally adorned with shards of crushed glass before they are fired in the kiln
  • Tamil Nadu is renowned for its monumental terracotta statues that depict the deity Aiyanar. These statues are placed at the entrances of villages to protect the residents from the infiltration of evil spirits
  • The advent of the potter’s wheel by the Indus Valley civilization allowed for a variety of new shapes and forms including the elongated necks of clay vases. This had previously been impossible to achieve

Recommended Items at Auction

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Pair of Antique East India Porcelain Plate & Tureen
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Pair of Antique East India Porcelain Plate & Tureen
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $50- $500
$251 Bid
Indus Valley Pottery Fertility Figure
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus Valley Pottery Fertility Figure
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £80- £100
£51 Bid
A FINE 13TH CENTURY PERSIAN KASHAN MINAIE GILDED TURQUOISE GLAZED HEXAGON TILE, 10cm at widest point.
Mar 05, 10:30 AM GMT
A FINE 13TH CENTURY PERSIAN KASHAN MINAIE GILDED TURQUOISE GLAZED HEXAGON TILE, 10cm at widest point.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £300- £400
£2600 Bids
A LARGE 14TH-15TH CENTURY PERSIAN TIMURID GLAZED POTTERY CHARGER, 35cm diameter.
Mar 05, 10:30 AM GMT
A LARGE 14TH-15TH CENTURY PERSIAN TIMURID GLAZED POTTERY CHARGER, 35cm diameter.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £300- £400
£2600 Bids
A FINE AND LARGE 12TH-13TH CENTURY PERSIAN KASHAN TURQUOISE GLAZED BORDER TILE, with animals and Arabesque dec
Mar 05, 10:30 AM GMT
A FINE AND LARGE 12TH-13TH CENTURY PERSIAN KASHAN TURQUOISE GLAZED BORDER TILE, with animals and Arabesque dec
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £800- £1,200
£7000 Bids
A FINE LATE 19TH CENTURY NORTH INDIAN MULTAN OPENWORKED GLAZED POTTERY DISH, painted with foliate motifs, 28.5
Mar 05, 10:30 AM GMT
A FINE LATE 19TH CENTURY NORTH INDIAN MULTAN OPENWORKED GLAZED POTTERY DISH, painted with foliate motifs, 28.5
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £100- £200
£900 Bids
Indus Valley Decorated Terracotta Cup
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus Valley Decorated Terracotta Cup
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£50 Bids
Indus Valley Decorated Terracotta Cup
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus Valley Decorated Terracotta Cup
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£50 Bids
Indus Valley Painted Pottery Bowl
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus Valley Painted Pottery Bowl
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £800- £1,000
£7000 Bids
Indus valley Terracotta Jar Decorated with Waves
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus valley Terracotta Jar Decorated with Waves
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £80- £100
£50 Bids
Indus Valley Painted Terracotta Jar
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus Valley Painted Terracotta Jar
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£50 Bids
Indus valley Decorated Terracotta Cup
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus valley Decorated Terracotta Cup
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£50 Bids
Indus Valley Polychrome Ceramic Vessel Collection with Animals
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus Valley Polychrome Ceramic Vessel Collection with Animals
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £100- £140
£50 Bids
Indus Valley Decorated Terracotta Bowl
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus Valley Decorated Terracotta Bowl
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£50 Bids
Indus valley Decorated Terracotta Cup
Mar 08, 12:00 PM GMT
Indus valley Decorated Terracotta Cup
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£50 Bids
A VERY UNUSUAL LARGE 19TH CENTURY NORTH INDIAN MULTAN GLAZED POTTERY CLOCK FACE TILE, made for the European ma
Mar 05, 10:30 AM GMT
A VERY UNUSUAL LARGE 19TH CENTURY NORTH INDIAN MULTAN GLAZED POTTERY CLOCK FACE TILE, made for the European ma
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £300- £400
£2600 Bids
A FINE LARGE 19TH CENTURY INDIAN GLAZED POTTERY TILED PANEL, inset within a wooden frame; possibly a table top
Mar 05, 10:30 AM GMT
A FINE LARGE 19TH CENTURY INDIAN GLAZED POTTERY TILED PANEL, inset within a wooden frame; possibly a table top
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £250- £350
£2200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Indian & South Asian Ceramics & Pottery


TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

Akiba Galleries

Akiba Galleries