Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia:
Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

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  • Stoneware with celadon glaze
  • 8.4 x 27.2 x 27.2 cm
  • Sawankhalok ware
  • 15th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Ban Ko Noi kilns, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai province, Thailand
  • Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • F1977.21


Bowl, heavily potted, everted foliate rim, foot beveled inward; slightly recessed unglazed base with ring of black residue from tubular firing support. Defects; two lenticular shaped raised areas in paste, perhaps bubbles; one small gritty inclusion in glaze.
Clay: grey porcelanous stoneware with brown speckles (impurities).
Glaze: celadon, pale watery transparent pale blue-green, low gloss, medium crystalline crackle (according to March classification), pooled off-center in bottom, running thin on rim and center bottom. (The gray body showing through gives a grayish surface appearance), runs unevenly onto foot.
Decoration: incised and carved. Triple lines define rim shape; cavetto has an upper decorated band and a plain zone; a deep double line surrounds the bottom which has a central floral medallion. Outside, multiple rings edge the cavetto curve, top and bottom. Deep vertical grooves give the appearance of fluting.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (J. Knapp, 1978) This bowl is distinguished by its fine condition and quality, closely resembling the slightly larger and more elaborately decorated example owned by Mr. and Mrs. Dean Frasché which is reproduced in color in Frasché 1976, no. 21.

Frasché, Dean. 1976. Southeast Asian Ceramics Ninth through Seventeenth Centuries. New York: Asia Society.

2. (Louise Cort, 25 November 2002) Brown and Sjostand report that Si Satchanalai bowls of this type were found on the shipwreck they name the "Royal Nanhai," found off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and dated by them (on the basis of Chinese ceramics also found) to +/- 1460 (Brown and Sjostand 2002, 51, color pl. 57).

Brown, Roxanna M., and Sten Sjostrand. 2001. Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Ceramics in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Department of Museums and Antiques.

3. (Louise Cort, 17 February 2008) This bowl is an example of what Roxanna Brown terms "classic celadon" from the Sawankhalok kilns, found on shipwrecks dated to the 15th century (circa 1424/30–1487) (Brown 2004, 72).

Changed Date from 14th–15th century to 15th century. To Origin added Ban Ko Noi kiln group.

Brown, Roxanna Maude. 2004. "The Ming Gap and Shipwreck Ceramics in Southeast Asia." Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles.

4. (Louise Cort, 2 June 2008) According to Don Hein, in Washington to deliver the Pope Memorial Lecture, this dish is Sawankhalok ware from the LASW phase (Late Stoneware, fifteenth–sixteenth century).

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