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

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vessel with round bottom

  • Earthenware with white slip and red pigment
  • 32 x 23 cm
  • Ban Chiang culture
  • 300 BCE-200 CE, Ban Chiang culture, late period
  • Origin: Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2004.17


Earthenware vessel with red painted spiral designs; flared rim.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Ellen Chase, Louise Cort, and Blythe McCarthy, 6 May 2003) This vessel is OK. An attempt should be made to remove the epoxy edging, added recently.
In addition to overall similarities in the powerful, swooping curvilinear designs, the wavy tendril-like endings of some of the interior ends of spirals on the neck also appear on the inner ends of spirals on vessel no. 152 in the 1982 Ban Chiang excavation catalogue (White 1982), suggesting a common cultural origin for these two vessels. The latter pot, in the collection of the National Museum of Thailand, also bears representations of human figures around the rim. It is identified as unprovenienced but "possibly Ban Chiang tradition."

White, Joyce C. 1982. Ban Chiang: Discovery of a Lost Bronze Age. Philadelphia and Washington: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania Press and Smithsonian Institution.

2. (Louise Cort, 7 November 2003) Two pots with related decoration were published on the cover of Arts of Asia, November–December 1973, together with an article titled "Thailand's Ban Chiang: The Birthplace of Civilization?" The vessels are described as coming from Ban Chiang.

Griffin, Robert S. 1973. "Thailand's Ban Chiang, the birthplace of civilization?" Arts of Asia 3(6): 31–34.

3. (Louise Cort, 10 November 2003) In his study of types of Ban Chiang painted pottery, Piriya Krairiksh illustrates in Chart IV a vessel with this type of decoration, but with a pedestal foot, excavated in burial WP2B (at the Wat Po site in Ban Chiang) along with a vessel decorated like S2004.19 or 20 and another like S2004.55 (Krairiksh 1973, 145–162).

Piriya Krairiksh. 1973. "Provisional Classification of Painted Pottery from Bân Chieng." Artibus Asiae XXXV(1–2): 145–162.

4.  (Joyce White, Ban Chiang Project, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, 8 December 2003) A fine Ban Chiang Late Period vessel.

5. (Louise Cort, 18 August 2004) Title changed from "Vessel" to "Pot with round bottom and trumpet-shaped neck."

6. (Louise Cort, 4 May 2006) A Ban Chiang earthenware pot bearing related painted decoration is in the collection of the Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore (The Asian Civilizations Museum ed. 2003, 34–34, acc. no. CO765).

Asian Civilizations Museum, ed. 2003. The Asian Civilizations Museum A-Z Guide to its Collections. Singapore: Asian Civilizations Museum.

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