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
  • 39.5 x 25 cm
  • Ban Chiang culture
  • 300 BCE-1 CE, Ban Chiang culture, late period
  • Origin: Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2004.19


Ovoid vessel with wide neck and everted rim. Body bears curvilinear and geometric designs in red pigment on a white slip background. Neck and rim are coated with red pigment.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 2 October 2001) This vessel bears the same design as S2004.20. These vessels compare to vessel no. 56 in the 1982 Ban Chiang exhibition, from Burial 9, dated Late Period, ca. 300 B.C.–1 A.D. (White 1982, no. 56). That vessel came from the well-appointed grave of a middle-aged female.

Was this vessel built by hand from rim to bottom? A cord-wrapped paddle was used first to shape this vessel, and then the cord marks were smoothed out. There is a rim of overlap where the neck joins the body, but there is no indication of a repair. Instead, the overlap is the trace of the particular forming technique.

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. (Ellen Chase, Louise Cort, and Blythe McCarthy, 6 May 2003) The projecting neck edge is also found on S2004.16 and 21 (also 20); all these pots seem to belong to the same technological family. The body was thinly paddled, using a cord-wrapped paddle, while the rim is a thick addition.

3. (Louise Cort, 7 November 2003) Another pot of this type was 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 vessel is 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.

4. (Louise Cort, 10 November 2003) In his study of types of Ban Chiang painted pottery, Piriya Krairiksh included vessels of this type in his Type I (I-i, with both neck and round-bottomed body painted red; type I-j, with only the neck painted red). In Chart IV, he also illustrates a vessel of this type with the neck decorated with vertical strips, excavated in burial WP2B (at the Wat Po site in Ban Chiang) along with a vessel decorated like S004.18 and a pedestal-base vessel with spiral decorations in a scheme resembling that of S2004.17.

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

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

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