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Wide bowl: C.1-2019

An image of Bowl

© The estate of Mo Abbaro. Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Wide bowl


Abbaro, Mo (Ceramicist)


Porcelain and ‘T material’, thrown, painted with coloured slips, and decorated with sgraffito.

Large hemispherical bowl with base flattened on the outside. Decorated inside and out, mainly in earth colours: green, browns and blue. Irregular patches of coloured slip applied over each other; on exterior some applied through a mesh and small areas of unpainted clay near the base; on interior the surface scratched with sgraffito lines . Matt surface. Underside unpainted.


History note: Mo Abbaro's studio

Legal notes

Given by Rose Abdalla, wife of Mo Abbaro, 2019

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 39 cm
Height: 17 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2019-01-28) by Abdalla, Rose


Early 21st Century
Production date: marked AD 1985


During the early 1960s, Mo Abbaro painted, sculpted and designed textiles in addition to working with ceramics. Between 1966 and 1990, he taught ceramics at the Camden Art Centre. His own work ranged from coloured jugs and bowls to large mushroom-shaped forms and sculptures depicting African animals. He experimented with surfaces, forms and colours and pioneered glazing and firing techniques to achieve unusual textures, including tactile surfaces replicating volcanic earth or snakeskin. He exhibited widely in England, Sweden and America, including at the 1968 British Potters ’68 showcase at Qantas Gallery alongside Bernard Leach and Lucie Rie. He also self-published several books on ceramic techniques and his family history.

Mohammed Ahmed Abdalla [‘Mo’] Abbaro (1935-2016) was born in Sudan to a family of farmers and Koranic teachers. Abbaro studied Fine and Applied Arts at the Khartoum Technical Institute, working as a carpenter to pay for his studies. In 1959, he won a scholarship to study ceramics at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and in 1964, married fellow artist Rose Glennie, granddaughter of Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Components of the work


Materials used in production

porcelain and T material Ceramic

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Porcelain and ‘T material’, thrown, decorated with coloured slips and decorated with sgraffito.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: in large uneven letters around the base

  • Text: M A ABDALLA 85
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1-2019
Primary reference Number: 226464
Entry form number: 1375
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 19 February 2019 Updated: Wednesday 22 December 2021 Last processed: Monday 25 July 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Wide bowl" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-14 23:12:18

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