Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka

Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral

Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka

The Pottery Collection

MSc. Ivana Šarić Žic, MA, curator

The Pottery Collection is a compilation of artefacts produced on the potter’s wheel. Included are dishes and cookware for preparing, serving and eating food (bowls, wine cups, kikarice, pots and lids), as well as containers for storing foods and liquids (jugs, ceramic bottles, traditional bukaleta, and urns for holding water).
The large number of items from Rakalj (Istria), Kompolje (Lika) and Ribnica (Slovenia) indicate the significant pottery tradition in which there were sources of materials to produce high-quality ceramics. The so-called inglenook ceramics are of domestic origin, however the glazes are mostly imported. Ceramic bottles were brought by land trade routes from Italy, while the urns of Mediterranean origin were brought by sailors.
With the exception of unique local pottery used in food preparation, the Pottery Collection testifies to the importance of trade exchanges, often induced by migrations. Local residents bought products from the neighbouring ceramic centres in Lika and Istria, and ceramic products were also brought in from other Mediterranean countries such as Italy and France. The wider cultural context is demonstrated by the diverse origins of these important artefacts.
A charming part of the collection is an assortment of ceramic whistles (fišćeti) which use water to create sounds. These whistles are usually in the form of birds, pitchers and horses with or without riders. They were favourite children’s toys, but were also used in music to achieve particular effects.
The collection features ceramics dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries, while most of the objects date from the second half of the 20th century.