Image["Ewer in the form of a cat"]
The Department of Applied Arts is responsible for about 20,000 pieces of decorative arts and sculpture from Europe, the Middle East, India and the Far East.
These objects were used in the daily activities, and religious rituals of people in those areas, and are evidence for their social customs, beliefs, and taste in art. They illustrate the development of manufacturing techniques, such as weaving, potting and metal-working, and the stylistic changes brought about by the interchange of ideas and skills between different cultures. The main groups of objects are pottery, porcelain and glass, textiles, fans, furniture and lacquerwork; clocks and watches, domestic metalwork, including silver, pewter; jewellery and snuffboxes, armour and weapons, and sculpture in many different materials ranging from ancient Chinese jades to 20th century European bronzes.