We collect decorative art to inform local people about English material culture and the development of design from the 17th century to the present day.
Objects from our Decorative Art collection are on display across the county in our museums. We also make the collection housed in our museum stores accessible by appointment. Our online database shows a selection of objects some, of which aren’t ordinarily on permanent display.
There are about 8,500 items in the ceramics collection, dating from the 17th century to the present. Most were made in the UK, but there are also pieces from mainland Europe as well as from China and Japan. The collection's range and quality make it an important resource for those researching into ceramic history.
The main focus for the collection is the Allen Gallery in Alton, where over 3,000 items represent the development of the industry in this country over four centuries. However, all of our museums incorporate ceramics into their displays in one way or another, often china souvenirs or items relating to local industry and shops.
Pieces are also sometimes loaned to museums outside Hampshire or may be found in our own touring exhibitions.