Pedestal-footed bowl with interior stand

  • Stoneware with iron glaze
  • 13.4 x 19.6 cm
  • 1075-1430, Angkor period
  • Origin: Cambodia or Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge
  • S1996.121.1


Object was accepted as part of former number S1996.121a-c: Pedestal-footed bowl with interior stand, small cup, and conical lid, originally unrelated but formerly assembled as pastiche.

Pedestal-footed bowl

Wheel-thrown on fast wheel, possibly as single piece with solid pedestal foot, or else with pedestal foot attached to separately-made flat-bottomed bowl. String-cut mark on base, cut from wheel revolving counter-clockwise, abraded, with deep gouge (later break?). Knob of clay attached to center of bottom and thrown as interior stand, on thick stem supporting disk (which broke and was chipped and ground down to the diameter of the bowl base in the process of preparing the pastiche). Signs of torqueing stress on vessel walls from throwing clay too thin. Deep hemispherical bowl with short rim everted at right angle, pinched by hand into fluting (also while the wheel was revolving counter-clockwise).

Clay: stoneware, medium brown where exposed, light golden-brown where abraded.

Decoration: beveled lower edge, three levels cut into pedestal base tapering inward. Undercut flange suggesting visual base of vessel proper. On upper wall below rim, two combed horizontal bands (made with six-toothed combing tool), framing band into which same tool was used to incise row of scalloped combing, tightly compressed arcs with points facing downward and overlapping lower straight band of combing, not quite meeting at end and corrected with one additional arc. On upper surface of fluted rim, cross-hatching created by combing around rim, then crossing with short radiating lines (or some sort of rouletting?)

Glaze: iron glaze, translucent amber brown on exterior, opaque darker brown on interior. Glaze originally reached to pedestal foot (by dipping inverted vessel into vat of glaze?), messily wiped off lower vessel. Water or something else in interior of vessel has discolored the glaze surface.

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.

2. Cort, Louise Allison, Massumeh Farhad, and Ann C. Gunter. 2000. Asian Traditions in Clay: The Hauge Gifts. Washington, D.C.: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 148 (illus.), no. 72.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Victor Hauge, November 1996) Footed bowl-shaped vessel with scalloped rim and combed design around waist. An interior cup is covered by a conical lid rising above the bowl mouth. Brown-glazed overall.

2. (Louise Cort, 18 January 1999) Another vessel of this type, with fluted rim, somewhat shallower bowl, two bands of combed decor, and elaborate unglazed pedestal foot, brown-glazed, is in the Yamada Yoshio collection, Machida City Museum, Tokyo (Machida Shiritsu Hakubutsukan ed. 1995, no. 65).  In the interior is a small, unglazed pedestal.  The vessel is dated 12th–13th century.

Machida Shiritsu Hakubutsukan (Machida City Museum), ed. 1995. Kumeeru no yakimono [Khmer ceramics]. Machida Shiritsu Hakubutsukan zuroku 93. Machida: Machida Shiritsu Hakubutsukan.

3. (Louise Cort, 8 June 1999) A brown-glazed bowl nearly identical in form, with fluted rim and a band of combing framed by two horizontal straight lines just below the rim (H. 15.1 cm) is in the National Museum, Bangkok (Mikami ed. 1984, pl. 196).  The piece is dated 12th–13th century.

Mikami Tsugio, ed. 1984. Nankai (Southeast Asia). Vol. 16, Sekai Tōji Zenshū (Ceramic Art of the World). Tokyo: Shogakukan.

4. (Louise Cort, 9 June 1999) A multi-tiered conical lid, brown-glazed, similar to the one that came with this object, is shown as the lid to an incense burner belonging to the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (Mikami ed. 1984, pl. 48).  It does not look like it was really made for that piece (the incised decoration on the conical rim of the vessel does not continue on the lid), but it does agree with the overall vessel form and may have been made for another vessel of the same type.

Mikami Tsugio, ed. 1984. Nankai (Southeast Asia). Vol. 16, Sekai Tōji Zenshū (Ceramic Art of the World). Tokyo: Shogakukan.

5. (Louise Cort, 10 June 1999) A frieze on the external gallery, south side, east wing, the Bayon (ca. 1200), depicting a royal banquet, shows a servant carrying a spouted ewer against his chest, his right wrist beneath the body of the ewer and his left around the neck.  The ewer is covered by a conical cap close in shape to that of the lid that came as part of S1996.121.  Groslier suggests that the ewer depicted is a metal one (Groslier 1981, 13, 25).

Groslier, Bernard Philippe. 1981. "Introduction to the Ceramic Wares of Angkor". Pp. 9–39 in Khmer Ceramics 9th–14th Century, edited by Diana Stock. Singapore: Oriental Ceramics Society.

6. (Louise Cort, 15 June 1999) Based on his excavation of sites in the Angkor region, notably Sras Srang, Bernard Groslier stated that vessels of this type with interior stands became numerous during the reign of Jayavarman VI (ca. 1080–ca. 1107) (Brown 1988  52).  In "Introduction to the Ceramic Wares of Angkor," 28), he stated that they appeared at Sras Srang appeared for the first time during this phase.

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

Groslier, Bernard Philippe. 1981. "Introduction to the Ceramic Wares of Angkor". Pp. 9–39 in Khmer Ceramics 9th–14th Century, edited by Diana Stock. Singapore: Oriental Ceramics Society.

7. (Louise Cort, 22 June 1999) Another vessel of this type, with brown glaze on the body and unglazed pedestal foot, excavated from a kiln site in Buriram, has an unglazed interior stand, suggesting that the stand on this piece might have been unglazed as well (Tharapong and Amara 1989, fig. 13e).

Tharapong Srisuchat, and Amara Srisuchat. 1989. "Introducing Buriram Ceramics and Kilns." Sinlapākǭn (The Silpakorn Journal) 33(2): 52–55.

8. (Louise Cort, 22 June 1999) Some small cups of this form were also glazed with ash glaze at Buriram kilns (Tharapong and Amara 1989, fig. 9, lower right).

Tharapong Srisuchat, and Amara Srisuchat. 1989. "Introducing Buriram Ceramics and Kilns." Sinlapākǭn (The Silpakorn Journal) 33(2): 52–55.

9. (Bruce Young, 16 November 1999) This object and S1996.121.2 and S1996.121.3 were accessioned into the collection, .1 and .2 glued together, as an assembled object, S1996.121a-b.  They were later separated and given their present, separate accession numbers.

10. (Louise Cort, 24 July 2000) A bowl of this type is in the Fujiwara Hiroshi collection in Kyoto and is published in Fujiwara 1990, pl. 45. The photograph shows the unglazed disk in the center, documenting how the Hauge piece would have looked originally before the edges of the disk were ground away. The piece is dated 12th–13th century and measures h. 13.2 cm, d. 21.1 cm—the same size as the Hauge bowl.

Fujiwara Hiroshi. 1990. Kumeeru ōkoku no kotō (Khmer Ceramics from the Kamratan Collection). Singapore: Oxford University Press.

11. (Louise Cort, 13 June 2001) The variety of functions speculatively attributed to this vessel type is summarized in Rooney 1986, 17:  "It may have been an oil lamp with the burning liquid placed in the well and a wick wrapped around the base of the disc and the end lying on the centre.  Maybe it was a cover for protecting storage jars from dust and insects.  The average diameter is the same size as the average mouth of the large jars and the disc could have been a handle.  Perhaps it was a steamer with hot water in the centre and another vessel containing food placed on the disc.  Since antique dealers in Bangkok refer to it as a 'holy water bowl,' maybe it was a presentation bowl for the conch, which is used in ceremonies today as a lustral water sprinkler."

Rooney, Dawn F. 1986. "A New Look at Khmer Ceramics, Based on Recent Finds in Thailand." The Siam Society Newsletter 2(4): 14–17.
Earthenware basins with small pedestals in the center are made by modern potters in the city of Puri, Orissa, eastern India.  They are used to keep ants away from dishes of sweet foods, which are placed on the pedestal; the bowl is filled with water.

12. (Louise Cort, 29 November 2001) A measured drawing of this vessel was prepared by Miyata Etsuko in July 2000, while she was in Washington on a Short-term Visitor Grant with my sponsorship.  She sent the final ink tracing to me in September this year. See media.

13. (Louise Cort, 16 January 2017) Changed Date from 11th-12th century to 1075-1430, following Desbat's revised chronology based on excavations in the Angkor area over the past two decades (Desbat 2011, 26). Evidence for vessels with "chestnut brown" (marron) glaze centers on that time span.

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

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