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

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Covered box

  • Stoneware with iron pigment under clear glaze
  • 6.7 x 10.5 cm
  • Sawankhalok ware
  • 16th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Ban Pa Yang kilns, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai province, Thailand
  • Provenance: Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Gift of Dorothy M. Slak
  • F1986.50a-b


Low covered box with bud-shaped knob.
Clay: light gray stoneware with black flecks.
Glaze: transparent and crackled; filmy blue where thick on outside; strong green where thick on inside of body.
Decoration: carved, incised, and painted in underglaze iron. Radiating leaves painted around knob; carved ridges on edges of lid repeated on body, framing painted chevron motifs.
Mark: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1.  (L.A. Cort, 13 June 1995) Added "Historical Region: Siam" and "Sukhothai, Si Satchanalai" to attribution.

2.  (Louise Cort, 20 May 2008) Based on her research on shipwrecks, Roxanna Brown dates iron-decorated boxes from the Si Satchanalai kilns to the sixteenth century (circa 1520–1570/84) and describes them as the most common shape of that period (Brown 2004).

Changed Date from 15th–16th century to 16th century.

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.

3.  (Louise Cort, 2 June 2008) Don Hein, in Washington to present the Pope Memorial Lecture, observed that the forms for this box were thrown on the wheel, after which the surface was carved away to create the ribs.

4. (Najiba Choudhury, 10/29/2014) Transferred from the Provenance text field: "Acquired by Ms. Slak in Jakarta, Indonesia, circa 1968."

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