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The Decorative Art department houses an outstanding collection of 10,000 British and European ceramics, dating from the medieval period to the present day.

It includes the most comprehensive public collection of Liverpool-made ceramics, representing delftware, porcelain and creamware, and covering the period from 1700-1850.

There is also a growing collection of about 300 modern studio ceramics, dating from the 1960s to the present day. This includes the Ratoff studio ceramics collection with 108 ceramics collected by Len and Pamela Ratoff.