The Ming dynasty (1368-1644) was one of the most stable and long-lasting dynasties of Chinese history. The Ming dynasty was founded by Han Chinese people, China’s main ethnic group, unlike the preceding Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) which was founded by Mongols, and the following Qing dynasty (1644-1911) which was founded by Manchus. Porcelain was invented in […]
It holds a Designated status under the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council Designation Scheme, which identifies and celebrates pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in England’s non-national museums, libraries and archives.
A highlight of the collection is the Schiller bequest of Chinese ceramics and other items (1946), including fine Tang dynasty (618-906 AD) and Song dynasty (960-1279 AD) ceramics. The collection also includes a world-class collection of Chinese glass – the Burrows Abbey bequest of 300 pieces (1950) – recognised as the best collection outside China.
Collections from other Asian countries include items from India, Iran, Thailand, Burma and Korea, Islamic objects from a wide geographic area including Spain, works on paper such as Chinese export paintings, Japanese prints and Indian paintings, and textiles including several hundred pieces of Chinese dress and embroidery.