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

Print | Back to Normal Layout


  • Stoneware with white slip and iron and cobalt pigments under clear glaze; iron wash on the base
  • 7.5 x 16.9 x 16.9 cm
  • 14th-15th century, Tran or Later Le dynasty
  • Origin: Red River delta kilns, Hai Duong province, Vietnam
  • Provenance: Philippines
  • Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • F1994.9


Bowl with eveerted rim.
Clay: light gray stoneware.
Glaze: creamy white glaze.
Decoration: painted in two shades of cobalt (or possibly iron and cobalt) pigment under the glaze: floral spray in center (on which are five spur scars), narrow calligraphic band near interior rim, wider band on exterior, both framed by lines. Base shows traces of "chocolate brown" (iron slip).

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 13 April 2004) According to David Rehfuss, this bowl may have belonged to him and been traded to John Forbes; David bought the bowl in Jakarta in the early 1980s while he was posted there in the foreign service."

2. (Louise Cort, 19 October 2005) According to Morimoto Asako, Vietnamese bowls with iron decor have thick footrims, like Chinese shufu ware. Bowls with cobalt decoration always have thin footrims. On this bowl, the lines are drawn with iron or impure cobalt, while the pattern is drawn with cobalt of good quality. There are five spur marks in the bottom. White slip is applied over the body.

3. (Najiba Choudhury per J. Smith, September 15, 2015) Transferred from the Provenance text field: "1. Collected by John Forbes during his foreign service posting in Manilla. Export was approved, retroactively, by the National Museum of the Philippines in Manilla. See object file for documentation

field notes

Submit Comment 0 comments total

No field notes found.