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

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Gourd-shaped bottle in the form of a worshiper

  • Stoneware with wood-ash glaze
  • 29.1 x 16.7 x 17.2 cm
  • 1075-1250, Angkor period
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge
  • S1996.110

Description

Gourd-shaped bottle with head and arms of worshipper. Wheel-thrown from disk and coil, with applied, incised and impressed decoration. Base smooth, undulating and wrinkled texture from original impression of flat clay dish on turntable, center slightly recessed from flat "rim." Impression of somewhat disporportionate weight from extra thickness of lower walls. Lower body tapers upward from narrow base to widest diameter at "waist" of figure. Hemispherical "head" tapers upward into elongated neck with concave profile, ending in everted rim.
Clay: stoneware, light gray on interior, slightly warm orange flush on exposed surface of foot, with minute black specks.
Decoration: on base, trimmed rounded edge of foot beneath sequence of three bevels of approximately equal width.
On torso, thin arms indicated by incised lines beginning at upper edge of "torso," ending at wrists bearing incised bracelets; clasped hands applied in relief as single knob tapered to vertical ridge, with fingers indicated by parallel lines incised on each side. Sharp flange at join of "torso" and "head"; just below, a "necklace" indicated by a band of closely-spaced impressed marks above a shallowly incised horizontal line. Most marks have pointed upper edges, but some are squared, as though a pointed thin stick used to make the marks grew gradually blunted.
On the head, applied and incised features concentrated at front of hemisphere: eyebrows indicated by parallel incised lines in shallow horizontal S-shape; ridge of applied nose separating eyebrows and ending in upturned triangle; eyes applied as flattened circles with impressed trianglular marks (pointed tip of stick?) indicating pupils; mouth applied as short horizontal bar with incised line defining lips; applied shallow C-shaped ears near "cheeks." Around rest of "head," beginning just outside ears, widely spaced sets of three incised vertical lines indicating hair.
At base of bottle neck, two incised horizontal lines creating flange.
Glaze: ash glaze, translucent, lustrous, crackled, pale green on most surfaces, slightly deeper green where pooled, extending inside bottle neck and ending at second lowest or lowest bevel of base, with one small overrun. Diagonal lower edge of glaze suggests that vessel was dipped into vat of glaze. Two hemispherical marks in glaze edge are outlines of glazer's fingers. Unglazed clay on bevel of base (not bottom) bears traces of blackish substance, perhaps soot. Dirt deeply imbedded in crackles of glaze.


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