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The potter

The potter

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 15/10(11)

Item number: 11

Length: 14.9

Width: 20.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a potter in the modern state of Jammu and Kashmir in India, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. This image shows a potter throwing a pot, with completed work laid out on ground. Pottery is one of the oldest crafts in India although very little survives from the past apart from ancient pottery found at prehistoric sites. Indian pottery is seen as functional rather than a high art. Most containers are made for the storage of grain, spices or pickles rather than used for eating and drinking vessels which are made of metal or glass. The 'kumhar' or village potter makes unglazed terracotta or earthenware pots for storage or small disposable drinking vessels, used once and then broken and thrown away. Groups of potters live together in the potters' quarter of their town or village.

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