Round box with design of floral spray

  • Stoneware with white slip and cobalt pigment under colorless glaze
  • 3.7 x 4.8 x 4.8 cm
  • 15th-16th century, Later Le dynasty
  • Origin: Red River Delta kilns, Hai Duong province, Vietnam
  • Provenance: Jakarta, Java, Indonesia
  • Gift of Dean Frasché
  • F1989.28a-b


Round box with domed lid, tapering body, and flat base.
Clay: pale gray, fine-grained.
Glaze: clear, shiny, over white slip on exterior; thin, mottled grayish on inside of body and lid; base unglazed. Debris adhering to base.
Decoration: in underglaze cobalt. Abstract floral spray on top of lid, without enclosing rings.
Mark: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1.  (L.A. Cort, 13 June 1995) "Historical Region: Annam" added to attribution.

2.  (Louise Cort, 19 April 2005) To agree with exhibition label, changed dynasty from Le So or Mac to Later Le and changed Date from 15th century to 15th–6th century.

3. (R. Anderson per J. Smith, Oct 12, 2010) Transfer of re mark from Provenance Field: "Collected by the donor in Djakarta, Indonesia, in 1958."

4. (Louise Cort, 23 December 2014) Archaeologists Kikuchi Seiichi and Abe Yuriko remarked that covered boxes of this type were recovered from the Hoi An shipwreck.

Many ceramic boxes have been found in Indonesia, and it has been suggested that they were used for holding cosmetic oil or perfume, or for religious rituals.

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