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 rabbit, with lid

  • Stoneware with iron pigment under wood-ash glaze
  • 10.8 x 13.2 x 11.1 cm
  • 1075-1250, Angkor period
  • Origin: Cambodia or Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S1996.170a-b

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, 147 (illus.), no. 62.

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: 165, cat. no. 62.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Victor Hauge, November 1996) Lime pot in form of a rabbit, straw-colored glaze, facial features accented in dark brown glaze;  cover.

2. (Louise A. Cort, August 1997, Exhibition Label, "Arts of Cambodia") Khmer vessels for liquid are as diverse as the jar with pouring spout, which exemplifies an Indian concept of jar form, and the elephant with a spout on its shoulder. The small vessels shown here also take the forms of animals or birds and probably imitate containers made of silver or gold. The bird- and rabbit-shaped jars held lime used in betel, a fresh leaf wrapped around various ingredients and chewed for stimulation and refreshment. Actual conch shells were used in religious ritual as horns or for pouring purifying water, and both ceramic and bronze versions were also made.

3. (Louise Cort, 18 January 1999) A measured drawing of this vessel was prepared by Tatsumi Jun'ichiro on 10–11 November 1997 as part of the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties survey of the Hauge collection of Khmer ceramics.

4. (Louise Cort, 10 June 1999) The head of a vessel in the form of a cat, the face outlined with incised bands filled with parallel hatching and the eyes applied as buttons of clay accented with brown is published in Groslier 1931, pl. XLIX-8. The interior is said to be glazed in brown glaze.  The registration number is visible in the photograph (H 193 [or 195]).

Groslier, George. 1931. Les collections Khmères du Musée Albert Surrat à Phnom-Penh. Ars Asiatica, Vol. 16. Paris and Bruxelles: G. Van Oest.

5. (Louise Cort, 11 June 1999) The small loop handle on the back of the vessel has parallels in bronze vessels; in both cases the handle presumably served to attach a lid, using a cord or chain. A bronze bird-shaped vessel is illustrated in Guy 1992, fig. 24 (l.0 cm), collection of Don and Naiyanee Petrie, Bangkok.

Guy, John. 1992. "Southeast Asian Glazed Ceramics: A Study of Sources". Pp. 98–114 in New Perspectives on the Art of Ceramics in China, edited by George Kuwayama. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

6. (Louise Cort, 8 February 2005) The form of this vessel is closely echoed in a hand-modeled rabbit-shaped water dropper or ewer from the Si Satchanalai kilns, dated 15th century (h. 9.2 x l. 12.1 x w. 7.6 cm) (Toyama Satō Bijutsukan ed. 2002, no. 53).  Like the Khmer vessel, the tail is attached and folded upward to create a loop. Was the Si Satchanalai potter working from a Khmer model?

Toyama Satō Bijutsukan (Sato Memorial Art Museum Toyama), ed. 2002. Tōnan Ajia no kotōji—Tai no yakimono Sunkoroku [Ancient ceramics of Southeast Asia—Sawankhalok ware of Thailand]. Vol. VIII, South-East Asian Ceramics from the Kamratan Collection Toyama: Toyama Satō Bijutsukan.

7. (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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