Bottle (neck missing) with unrelated lid

  • Stoneware with wood-ash and iron glazes
  • 7.5 cm
  • 1177-1430, Angkor period
  • Origin: Cambodia or Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge
  • S1996.119a-b


Jar with two-color glaze (neck missing) and unrelated lid. Wheel-thrown from coil added to flat disk, as single continuous vessel. Flat base, wrinkled texture, slightly concave center; during firing base fractured into circular crack in center of base, four straight cracks radiating out to edge of base; light visible through hole when looking down through vessel. Ovoid vessel with widest diameter at high shoulder. Original shape of neck unknown.

(1) Vessel

Clay: stoneware, sandy, light gray clay, seemingly laminated with pale gray clay that serves as ground for ash glaze on neck (edge of lamination visible inside opening).

On base, trimmed rounded edge near bottom, diminishing steps on tapering wall, V-shaled bevel forming visual base of vessel proper (although interior is continuous). Incised double line on shoulder just above widest diameter. At base of (broken) neck, band of scalloped combing (made with four-toothed comb), small-scale, neat, pointing downward.

Glaze: On vessel, iron glaze, thin, opaque, lusterless blackish brown, running down to edge of base but wiped off along part of pedestal foot. On neck, ash glaze, translucent, lustrous, crackled pale green, edge touching tops of scalloped combing on one side, suggesting that vessel was dipped upside down into vat of ash glaze, but was not held exactly perpendicular. Almost no overlap of two glazes.

(2) Lid

Wheel-thrown off the hump (small round scar in center of base where finished form was cut off), with flat base, everted edge with upward flange enclosing flat, sunken top, from center of which rises narrow post supporting conical knob.

Stoneware, brownish gray where exposed, medium gray where visible in chips or beneath flaking glaze.

Bands of incised and stamped decoration on knob.

Iron glaze, medium brown and translucent where thin, darker where thick, on upper surface, irregularly overlapping everted edge.

Published References

1. Lawton, Thomas, and Thomas W. Lentz. 1988. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 208–211.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Victor Hauge, November 1996) Lidded jar of ovoid shape on high foot, combed design around neck, the lid with conical knob. Brown-glazed with light-green glaze at edge of mouth.

2. (Louise Cort, 7 June 1999) This small jar was thrown as a single piece on a fast wheel using a white clay body for the entire vessel.  The body was glazed with iron glaze and the neck with green.  The neck broke off, leaving just a sliver of the green glaze still visible.  The lid, while authentic, is unrelated to the original vessel.  The original vessel shape may be represented by a jar with elongated neck and trumpet mouth excavated from the Sras Srang burial site at Angkor and dated to ca. 1080–1107 (Jayavarman VI period) (Brown 1988, pl. 27-c).  A two-color bottle with green-glazed neck, although with more angular shoulder, was also excavated from that site (ibid., pl. 26-d).

Brown, Roxanna M. 1988. The Ceramics of South-East Asia: Their Dating and Identification. 2nd ed. Singapore: Oxford University Press.  

3. (Louise Cort, 22 June 1999) Pamela Vandiver suggested that this vessel was put into the kiln while still damp, leading to the giving way of the base in distinctive lines of fracture.  The clay is quite sandy.

4. (Louise Cort) Sok Keo Sovannara suggests that this vessel originally had a wide everted rim and may represent the type of vessel mentioned in inscriptions as katora (Sanskrit) or kanthor or kathor (Khmer), meaning a spittoon.

5.(Louise Cort, 16 January 2017) Changed Date from 11th-12th century to 1177-1430, following Desbat's revised chronology based on excavations in the Angkor area over the past two decades. Evidence for baluster-form jars centers on the 12th-13th centuries, although Desbat proposes that their production probably continued into the 14th and 15th centuries (Desbat 19-21). He associates the appearance of matte brown glaze with the late 12th century (Desbat 2011, 26).

Armand Desbat. 2011. Pour une revision de la chronologie des gres khmers. Aseanie 27 (juin), 11-34.

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