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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

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Sellers Who Sell Indian & South Asian Ceramics & Pottery


TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

Neue Auctions

Neue Auctions