We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and give respect to Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Antiquities collection

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The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences have been collecting antiquities since the very earliest days of the Museum’s history. They are composed of ceramics, glass and other media spanning the world but with a focus on Britain, Western Asia, and some from China. In the context of a technological museum antiquities were able to show the longevity of techniques as well as stylistic development of decoration and form. Collecting has been mainly opportunistic through gifts and some purchases. Highlight collections include the Colchester Roman-British pottery gift of 1907, the 1938 Guildhall gift of Roman-British antiquities showing daily life in London, a range of pottery from Sir Leonard Woolley’s excavations of the 1920s from Ur in Iraq, and eighty glazed Byzantine-style bowls from Mediaeval Cyprus. Individual items include some fine Greek red and black-figure vessels, as well as Italian Etruscan and Gnathian vessels. The Museum also holds a small collection of Egyptian antiquities, including pottery, stoneware, shabtis figures, bronze votive figures, amulets, seals and scarabs, fragments of mummy bandage, a papyrus fragment, lock of mummy hair and some Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptian coins, including a rare silver denarius commemorating the capture of Egypt by Rome under the Emperor Augustus.