The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Experiencing lustre: polynomial texture mapping of medieval pottery at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Bridgman, Rebecca and Earl, Graeme, (2012) Experiencing lustre: polynomial texture mapping of medieval pottery at the Fitzwilliam Museum Matthews, Roger, Curtis, John, Symour, Michael, Fletcher, Alexandra, Gascoigne, Alison, Glatz, Claudia, Simpson, St. John, Taylor, Helen, Tubb, Jonathan and Chapman, Rupert (eds.) In Proceedings of the 7th International Congress of the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (7th ICAANE). [Vol.2] Ancient & Modern Issues in Cultural Heritage. Colour & Light in Architecture, Art & Material Culture. Islamic Archeology. Harrasowitz. 727 pp, pp. 497-512.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The surfaces of lustre ware ceramics, famously produced at numerous centres in the medieval world, are commonly decorated with shiny, metallic designs. Other related and contemporary ceramic types, such as polychrome mina’i wares, were embellished with gold leaf producing a similar effect. In today’s museum settings, the display of such objects is problematic because it is difficult to illustrate one of their most attractive qualities, namely how light interacts with their shiny, golden surfaces. Even with the provision of multiple conventional photographs, it remains virtually impossible to experience fully the light-related properties of lustred or gilded ceramics without handling the objects in person. This paper presents results of a study which used polynomial texture mapping (or PTM) to record the texture, surface reflectance and colour of selected lustre and mina’i wares from the Islamic pottery collection at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. In addition, the paper considers how computer graphic techniques will assist such work in the future. Results of the study reveal how, through the creation of surface visualisations using PTM, it is possible to reveal the effects of varying lighting on the surfaces of lustre and mina’i wares, thus creating an alternative to handling these objects. In the future, through this technique, it will be possible not only to appreciate such ceramics in their modern setting, but also to consider how they may have been experienced by past societies.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1 March 2012
Venue - Dates: 7th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, United Kingdom, 2010-04-12 - 2010-04-16
Organisations: Archaeology


Local EPrints ID: 341767
ISBN: 978-3-447-06685-3
PURE UUID: 09b895a6-16d7-4b86-bb36-5eb1f6548461
ORCID for Graeme Earl: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Aug 2012 11:11
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:32

Export record


Author: Rebecca Bridgman
Author: Graeme Earl ORCID iD
Editor: Roger Matthews
Editor: John Curtis
Editor: Michael Symour
Editor: Alexandra Fletcher
Editor: Alison Gascoigne
Editor: Claudia Glatz
Editor: St. John Simpson
Editor: Helen Taylor
Editor: Jonathan Tubb
Editor: Rupert Chapman

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.