Lime-paste jar in form of a bird

  • Stoneware with wood-ash glaze
  • 7 x 9 cm
  • 1075-1250, Angkor period
  • Origin: Cambodia or Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge
  • S1996.146

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, 146 (illus.), no. 58.

3. Cort, Louise Allison (translated by Tabata Yukitsugu). 2002. "Kumeeru tōki—Hauge korekushon wo chūshin to shita Kumeeru tōki no kenkyū (Khmer ceramics—research on Khmer ceramics centering on the Hauge collection)." Tōnan Ajia kōkogaku [Journal of Southeast Asian Archaeology] (Journal of the Japan Society of Southeast Asian Archaeology) 22: 164, cat. no. 58.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Victor Hauge, November 1996)  Light-glazed bird lime pot with round eyes, beak and tail applied incised wings with stippled feathers.

2. (Louise Cort, 23 July 1999) A vessel of this form, with iron glaze, h. 9.5 cm, found in the Angkor region, was dated mid- to late 11th century by Bernard Groslier (Mourer 1986, pl. 36, fig. 5).

Mourer, Roland. 1986. "La Poterie au Cambodge, vol.1". Ph.D. Dissertation, l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

3. (Louise Cort, 16 February 2006) The identity of the bird represented in this type of container is discussed in Ang Choulean 2000. The bird is the ak, and in popular lore it is know for its fidelity to its mate. Upon the death of its mate, the bird left behind kills itself by flying at full force into a rock or a tree. In ancient Cambodia the lime pot executed in silver or ceramic so typically took the form of this bird that the vessel is known as "ak kambor" (lime ak). Ang Choulean charts the relationship between the ak in nature, which feeds on shellfish, and the ak-shaped vessel filled with lime made from burnt shells.

Ang Choulean. 2000. "Une petite touche de mélancolie: le ak à Angkor." Cambodia Bird News: Special Angkor Issue 5: 17–19.

4. (Louise Cort, 16 January 2017) Changed Date from 11th-12th century to 1075-1250, following Desbat's revised chronology based on excavations in the Angkor area over the past two decades (Desbat 2011, 26). Evidence for green-glazed Buriram-type bowls (distinguished by the formation of the base) at Angkor-area sites begins in the late 12th century but may date to the beginning of the 12th century, coinciding with the end of production of green-glazed "Kulen" wares in the Angkor area (Desbat 2011, 15-16).

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


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