Traces of our past

Columnist Ambeth Ocampo writes about ceramics in Philippine prehistory and ceramics collecting.

18 August 2006 (Philippine Daily Inquirer) – Columnist Ambeth Ocampo writes about ceramics in Philippine prehistory and ceramics collecting.

Traces of our past

ONE of Manila’s best secrets is a coven known as the Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines (OCSP) where a small group of like-minded people, all interested in ceramics and the archeological past of the Philippines, gather to talk shop, be they beginners or internationally acknowledged experts like Rita C. Tan….

Although ceramics held many clues into Philippine prehistory there was such a wide range of material that I limited myself early on to Ming blue and white (Annamese when these came up), knowing I did not have the budget nor the inclination to buy the entire range: Brown ware, Celadon, white ware, etc. Oriental ceramics is a bottomless pit for the collector and I did not want to fall into it at the expense of collecting Filipiniana.
While one has to develop a taste for Philippine pre-colonial earthenware or even plain monochrome ceramics, blue and white pieces are pleasing to everyone, even non-collectors. I was fortunate to have inherited my mother’s modest collection of Thai ceramics — enough to fill one whole display cabinet.


Related Books:
The archaeology of central Philippines: A study chiefly of the Iron Age and its relationships by W. G. Solheim

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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