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

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Lime-paste jar in form of a frog

  • Stoneware with iron glaze
  • 4.5 x 4.9 x 6.5 cm
  • 1177-1430, Angkor period
  • Origin: Cambodia or Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge
  • S1996.149

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. 77.

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: 166, cat. no. 77.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Victor Hauge, November 1996) Lime pot in shape of frog, thin brown glaze.

2. (Louise Cort, 3 June 1999) "Toad"-shaped lime pot, with flatter body and head low to the ground, applied and incised decor on the body, glaze color not clear from black-and-white photo but appears to be thin brown, said to have been found at a Buriram kiln site, dimensions not given (Natthaphat 1989, 69).

Three frog-shaped vessels from the Kamratan Collection, one with incised decor and dark brown glaze, dated 12th–13th century (no. 109), one with finely incised decor around the neck only and pale green glaze, dated 11th–12th century (no. 110), and one with applied and stamped decor and olive-brown glaze, dated 12th–13th century (no. 111) (Fujiwara 1990).  No. 111 is closest in body structure to the Sackler vessel, with back and front legs applied in high relief over a basic spherical jar.

Natthaphat Čhanthawit et al. 1989. Khrư̄ang thūai čhāk lǣng taophao Čhangwat Burīram (Ancient kiln sites in Buriram Province). Bangkok: Krom Sinlapākǭn (Fine Arts Department).

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

3. (Louise Cort, 4 June 1999) A frog-shaped bottle with thin brownish glaze in the collection of the National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh (H 449, h. 7.8 cm, l. 11.3 cm) was acquired by the museum in 1924 and was found at Phnom Srouch (Kong Pisei, Kompong Speu).  Another frog-shaped container (H 453), acquired in the same year, came from Phum Kas Anlong Chen. Saang.  These records are in volume 23 of the registrarial files in the museum library.

4. (Louise Cort, 10 June 1999) The rabbit-shaped vessel appears to be entirely hand modeled, whereas the Hauge vessel (S1996.169) is wheel thrown.  But were the zoomorphic features of this and other Khmer vessels applied by assistants in the workshop--wives, children--rather than by the experienced potters who kept busy at the wheel?  That division of labor may account for the charming, childlike quality of the decor of many such pieces.  And some of the hand modeled pieces may be entirely the work of people unable to use the potter's wheel (compare the rabbit, S1996.148, the frog, S1996.149, the lion, S1996.150, and the bird, S1996.154).

5. (Louise Cort, 11 June 1999) A hand-modeled figure of a cow or ox, bearing the same thin, dry brown glaze, is in the collection of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Museum, Kyoto (Toyama Bijutsukan ed. 1997, no 48, h. 9.4 cm, l. 11.8 cm).

Toyama Bijutsukan (Toyama Art Museum), ed. 1997. Kamratan korekushon Tōnan Ajia kotōji ten IV (Southeast Asian ceramics from the Kamratan collection IV). Toyama: Toyama Bijutsukan.

6. (Louise Cort, 23 July 1999)  Looking at this little frog-shaped vessel, I can't help thinking of the little frogs of the same small size that hopped around the veranda of our hotel in Siem Reap each evening this past February.  It should be possible to identify the species.

7. (Louise Cort, 28 December 2004) Changed Title from Lime-paste vessel in form of frog to Frog-shaped lime-paste vessel.

8. (Louise Cort, 20 September 2007) A bronze official's seal in the shape of a palm squirrel in the collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (1973.146) is dated 12th–13th century. In size and rendering it suggests a metal prototype for this type of hand-sculpted (rather than wheel-thrown) ceramic vessel.

9. (Louise Cort, 16 January 2017) Changed Date from 12th-13th century to 1177-1430, following Desbat's revised chronology based on excavations in the Angkor area over the past two decades (Desbat 2011, 26). Evidence for vessels with matte brown or black 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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