Legacy Online Collections
The Anthony Ray Collection of Tiles
English Delftware tiles from the collection of Dr Anthony Ray, F.S.A. (1926-2009)
The tiles described in this section of the Museum site come from the collection of one of Britain's most discerning ceramic scholars and collectors, Anthony Ray. Nearly all of them were given by his executors after his death, in accordance with his wishes.
Anthony Ray spent his professional career as an inspirational schoolmaster and housemaster at Eton. His affectionate association with the Ashmolean went back to his undergraduate days at University College, Oxford.
In 1968 he published a ground-breaking catalogue of the Warren collection of delftware, which had recently been given to the Museum, and he continued energetically to research, publish, and collect English delftware. His collection of tiles is one of the most important ever assembled. His book English Delftware Tiles, published in 1973, remains a standard work. His Ashmolean Handbook, English Delftware in the Ashmolean Museum (2000), is available from the Online Shop.
He was also a collector and scholar of pottery from Spain; his V&A catalogue, Spanish Pottery 1248-1998 (2000) is an incomparable work of reference.