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

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  • Stoneware with white slip and iron pigment under clear, green-toned glaze
  • 25.7 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm
  • Sukhothai ware
  • 15th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Sukhothai kilns, Sukhothai, Sukhothai province, Thailand
  • Provenance: Indonesia
  • Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • F1992.52

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 9 June 1999)  A pear-shaped Sukhothai-ware bottle (h. 25.3 cm) is in the collection of the Jakarta National Museum, indicating that it was found somewhere in Indonesia (Yabe 1978, fig. 25). Its simpler decoration is contained within a single wide band that covers the upper half of the body. It is dated 15th century.

Yabe Yoshiaki. 1978. Tai, Betonamu no tōji [Thai and Vietnamese ceramics], Tōji Taikei 47. Tokyo: Heibonsha.

2. (Louise Cort, 25 November 2002) Iron-decorated bottles of this type have been found on the shipwreck known as the "Turiang," located on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia and dated by Brown and Sjostand to +/- 1370 (Brown and Sjostand 2002, color pl. 18).

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

3. (Louise Cort, 11 January 2005) Changed Title and Object Name from Vase to Bottle. Changed Medium from Glazed stoneware clay to Stoneware with white slip and iron pigment under clear green-toned glaze. To Geography added Sukhothai province, Sukhothai kiln group. To Provenance, added Indonesia. To Ware added Sukhothai.

Other Sukhothai-ware bottles of this type have been found in Indonesia. A bottle in the National Museum (no. 2535), found in Aceh, Sumatra, h. 24.25 cm, is published in Spinks 1978, fig. 4. The same bottle is published in Yabe 1978, fig. 25, where it is dated fifteenth century.

Spinks, Charles Nelson. 1959. Siamese pottery in Indonesia. Bangkok: Siam Society.

Yabe Yoshiaki. 1978. Tai, Betonamu no tōji [Thai and Vietnamese ceramics], Tōji Taikei 47. Tokyo: Heibonsha.

4. (Louise Cort, 11 January 2006) In her presentation "New Data from Shipwrecks: 6 phases for Thai production, ca. 1380–1580" (Siem Reap, EFEO, 7 February 2004), Roxanna Brown indicated that Sukhothai ware first appears on shipwrecks only after 1400. Thus this bottle should be dated 15th rather than 14th century. Changed Date from 14th century to 15th century.

5. (Louise Cort, 20 May 2008) Based on her research on shipwrecks, Roxanna Brown shows that bottles of this type were recovered from the shipwreck Turiang, which she redates circa 1400–1424/30 (Brown 2004, pls. 20-10,11, heights 22, 22.8, and 25 cm).

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.

6. (Louise Cort, 1 March 2010) A Sukhothai ware bottle recovered from the Turiang shipwreck is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, accession number IS.100-2002 (height 24 cm). The decoration is organized within large panels in a single tier, rather than in a two-tiered format as on the Freer bottle.

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