• Stoneware with iron pigment under clear glaze
  • 13.7 x 15.6 cm
  • Sawankhalok ware
  • 16th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Sawankhalok kilns, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai province, North-central Thailand
  • Provenance: Probably Indonesia
  • Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • F1994.20


1. (Stephen P. Koob, 3 February 1992) Glazed kendi, globular and squat in shape. Glazed stoneware with floral and geometric decoration in brown/black underglaze.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 22 April 2005) Ware changed from Sawankhalok to Si Satchanalai.

2. (Louise Cort, 7 January 2007) A date in the 15th century is too early for this form of kendi, which relates to Ming sixteenth century forms. Changed Date from 15th–16th century to 16th century.

3. (Louise Cort, 9 January 2008) According to information collected by Leedom Lefferts on 31 January 2007 at the National Museum in Ayutthaya, the Thai term for kendi is khon thoo.

According to Australian anthropologist Carol Warren, the Balinese word for this vessel shape is caratan (pronounced "charatan").

4. (Louise Cort, 8 March 2008) "Perhaps the earthenware item most characteristic of medieval Buddhist sites in Myanmar is the sprinkler pot, or kendi….These are found across South and Southeast Asia, generally attributed to the first and early second millennia A.D., from Pakistan to Laos and down the Malay peninsula to Java, though it is only in the Buddhist countries that their function appears to focus on ritual libration. Buddhist cosmology and practice are bound up with the ritual pouring of water, reflecting the story of how Buddha, at the moment of his enlightenment, was able to call on the water he had poured in previous lives to witness his good deeds to come back and wash away the forces of evil" (Hudson et al 2001, 58 [references omitted]).

Hudson, Bob, Nyein Lwin, and Win Maung (Tanpawady). 2001. "The Origins of Bagan: New Dates and Old Inhabitants." Asian Perspectives 40(1): 48–74.

5. (Louise Cort, 20 May 2008) Based on her research on shipwrecks, Roxanna Brown demonstrates that a later style of iron decoration appears on Sawankhalok wares found on shipwrecks dating to circa 1520–1580 (Brown 2004). The format of those later wares is closely related to Chinese cobalt decorated or enamel decorated porcelain.

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. (R. Anderson per J. Smith, Oct. 22, 2010) transfer of remark from Provenance Field: "1. (Ken J.J.Baars, 12 November 1991) The S.E. Asian Ceramics now under consideration have been part of my private collection, acquired from various private sources during my stay in S.E. Asia from 1966 to 1970. During this period I carried out geophysical fieldwork for the Royal Dutch Shell Co. in S.E. Asia. My Oriental Ceramics collection was shipped to Holland with the rest of my personal belongings in early 1970 when my contract with the Brunei Shell Company ended."

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