Jar with combed decoration

  • Stoneware with iron glaze
  • 34.1 x 30.9 cm
  • 1177-1430, Angkor period
  • Origin: Cambodia or Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S1996.157


This jar was broadly broken (in shipping?) and repaired.

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, 149 (illus.), no. 82.

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: 167, cat. no. 82.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Victor Hauge, November 1996) A heavy stoneware jar brown-glazed overall, with bands of combed wavy lines encircling the entire body. Three concentric grooves cut above the foot and two at the neck.

2. (Louise Cort, 25 March 1999) A tall Chinese jar with overall incised wavy-line decoration on the body under a thin, toffee-brown glaze was found in Ban Tak District, Tak Province, in northwestern Thailand at one of the hilltop burial sites plundered in the mid-1980s that yielded Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Burmese pots. It is now in the Ostospa Collection, Bangkok, and is identified as from the Xicun kiln, Guangdong Province, 11th–12th centuries (Pariwat et al. 1996, 87).

Pariwat Thammapreechakorn, Lertrit Sawang, and Kritsada Pinsri. 1996. Sinlapa khrư̄ang thûai nai Prathēt Thai (Ceramic Art in Thailand). 2nd ed. Bangkok: Ostospa Co. Ltd.

3. (Louise Cort, 1 June 1999) A jar with overall combing designs, bearing what appears to be brown glaze (although the caption identifies it as green), is said to come from the Buriram kilns (Natthaphat et al. 1989, 83). The lines are drawn with a multi-toothed combing tool and lean to the left, suggesting that they were drawn on the vessel as it was revolved slowly on a potter's wheel turning counter-clockwise. The jar bears four broken or vestigial lugs close by the opening of the neck, which has broken off.

This jar, illustrated in Natthaphat 1990, 238, pl. 1, is described more explicitly as from the kiln site in Baranae sub-district, Lahan Sai district, Buriram province.

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

Natthaphat Chanthawit. 1990. "Ancient Kiln Sites in Thailand". Pp. 230–243 in Ancient Ceramic Kiln Technology in Asia, edited by Ho Chuimei. Hong Kong: Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong.

4. (Louise Cort, 4 June 1999) A tall, wide-mouthed jar (h. 29.0 cm; d. 21.3 cm) with everted rim bears overall scalloped combing on the lower half of the body, under a brown glaze. The shoulder is decorated with horizontal and vertical bands of straight combing to form rectangular panels. The jar is dated 13th century (Fujiwara 1990, no. 40).

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

5. (Louise Cort, 24 June 1999) The broad foot, simple decor, and quite "Chinese" neck of this jar may relate it in date to a group of iron-glazed jars dated by B. P. Groslier to the "late Bayon period," which must mean 13th century if not later (Brown 1988, pl. XXVI, b [a jar in Conservation d'Angkor called perhaps late 12th century], pl. 32a–d).

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

6. (Louise Cort, 23 July 1999) The neck of this jar, rising from the shoulder in a continuous curve, is related to the form of Chinese jars that must have served as models.  Such jars are dated to the late Southern Song (1127–1279) or Yuan (1279–1368) periods.  One brown-glazed Chinese jar was excavated in 1975 from the sunken ship in Chuanzhou harbor dated 1271–80 (Quanzhouwan Songdai  haichuan fajue baogao bianxiezu 1975, no. 233).  Notably, "green-glazed ceramics from Chuanzhou" are mentioned by the late 13th century Mongol envoy to Angkor, Zhou Daguan, as being one of the sought-after Chinese goods there.

Quanzhouwan Songdai  haichuan fajue baogao bianxiezu (The Study Group for the Sung Dynasty Wooden Sea Vessel). 1975. "Quanzhou wan Song dai hai quan fa jue jian bao (Excavation of the Sung Dynasty Wooden Sea Vessel in Ch'üanchow Bay, Fukien Province)." Wenwu (Cultural Relics) 10: 1–18.

7. (Louise Cort, 10 August 1999) A Chinese yellow-glazed jar with dragon design on the shoulder and an overall design of incised waves was excavated in the Philippines from a site in Mindoro (Locsin and Locsin 1967, pl. 181). This explicit dragon-and-waves design helps suggest the meaning implied in a brown-glazed jar with overall scalloped "waves" but no dragon (ibid, pl. 182) also excavated from a site in Mindoro.

Locsin, Leandro, and Cecilia Locsin. 1967. Oriental Ceramics discovered in the Philippines. Rutland, VT and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co.

8. (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.

9. (Louise Cort, 5 December 2006) A smaller (h. 25.0 cm) and more slender (diam. 18.7 cm) brown-glazed jar with overall incised "wave" decoration is in the Yamamura Michio collection and published in Ozaki and Tsuzuki eds. 2000, no. 64. The wavy lines on the jar, incised with a single-pointed tool rather than a comb tool, alternate with incised horizontal lines. The jar has four lugs positioned on the shoulder just below the start of the neck. The interior is unglazed. Buriram province is proposed as the production site and the date is given as 12th–13th century.

Ozaki Naoto, and Tsuzuki Etsuko, eds. 2000. Shūgyoku no Tōnan Ajia bijitsu (Gems of Southeast Asian Art—Siam Tohchingbok Collection). Fukuoka: Fukuoka-shi Bijutsukan (Fukuoka Art Museum) and Gotō Bijutsukan (Gotoh Museum).

10. (Louise Cort, 14 January 2007) Changed Date from 12th–13th century to 13th–14th century, based on above evidence.

11. (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 (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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