The ceramic collections of the MDA in Prague rank, with their size and quality (around 7000 exhibits), among the most important European collections. Their history goes back to the very first years of the existence of the Museum, and they are part of its most precious and oldest holdings. The exhibits document a broad spectrum history of European ceramics, with particular emphasis on ceramics of the New Age.
Chronologically, the collection starts with a small group of ceramics dating from Antiquity, among them several excellent examples of the vase-painting. From the Middle Ages originates a small collection of wall and floor tiles, mostly examples of domestic and Central European production. The most notable exhibits are pieces of Italian majolica, including examples of the “severe style” (sulo severo), majolica with lustre from Deruta and Gubbia, examples of the “beautiful style” (sulo bello) with early decoration of grotesques to its culmination in the style “istoriato” (painted dishes and plates from Urbino).
An important part of the collection are, among other items, Venetian pharmaceutical jars with high quality figurative painting, the production of Faenza (from the second half of the 16th century—17th century) with a collection of white wares, bianchi di Faenza, with linear painting in the style compendiario.
The German stoneware (Steinzeug) from the 16th and 17th centuries is represented here by an excellent collection from the peak period of the production in the Rhein region, as well as by pieces from South Germany, Sachsen and Silesia.
The collection of Habanerware is remarkable, thanks to a number of unique pieces from early Moravian period from 1590—1620.
European faience from the 17th and 18th centuries is well represented, namely by excellent collection of Delft faience, as well as German and less numerous French examples. The collection of faience from the emperor manufacture in Holitch (today in Slovakia), is large and significant, documenting all facets of production, including sculptures and naturalistically moulded vegetative and zoomorphological shapes of vessels.
A number of pieces from early industrial European production of creamware dating from the last third of the 18th and 19th centuries is to be found here, namely English creamware (Etruria — J. Wedgwood, Leeds), French (Creil), Italian, Belgian and others.
Out of the creamware produced in the Czech lands represented here are large groups of pieces made in manufactories in Prague, Týnec n. Sázavou (Teinitz), in smaller numbers in Dalwitz, Altrohlau, Vranov n. Dyjí (Frein) in Moravia, and other places.