The collection: Western Asia

A woman's silver finger rings from Oman

The strength of this collection lies in a donation of material from Oman. However, there are individual pieces such as a finely made Palestinian woollen bisht that had been acquired by Exeter MP Sir John Bowring during his visit there in 1838. The collection includes material that was not only produced in the Middle East but also Islamic-related material from many other parts of the world.

In 2009, with grant assistance, RAMM obtained a large hand-woven contemporary tapestry from the renowned Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre near Cairo in Egypt. This spectacular piece is called Field and Village on the Nile and was completed by artist Mahrous Abdou in 2009. It took him approximately 6 months to complete.

Traditional woman’s embroidered dress from Palestine.

Traditional woman’s embroidered dress from Palestine. Acquired in the 1960s by the donor who lived there and who donated the garment to the museum in 2012.

The cultural heritage of Palestine is under threat and there have been serious attempts at trying to preserve it. Garments, such as the item shown here, and adornment are not commonly found in UK museums and therefore it is important to ensure that the knowledge surrounding this material is shared widely.