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

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Vessel on pedestal base (pastiche)

  • Earthenware with red pigment
  • 28 x 24 cm
  • Ban Na Di culture
  • Ban Na Di culture and Ban Chiang culture
  • 1000 BCE-200 CE, Ban Na Di middle period & Ban Chiang late period
  • Origin: Udon province, Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2004.52

Description

Globular polychrome vessel with everted rim and pedestal foot. Red and buff swirling bands and lines throughout. Interior of rim painted red.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Ellen Chase, Louise Cort, and Blythe McCarthy, 6 May 2003) Pastiche of a good Ban Chiang Early Period paddle-impressed vessel and a "base" possibly made from the neck of another old Ban Chiang jar. The paint job is totally new; paint was never applied to paddle-textured vessels. KEEP as a spectacularly inventive fake.

2. (Joyce White, Ban Chiang Project, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, 8 December 2003) An old Ban Chiang Late Period foot attached to a Middle Period Ban Na Di-type vessel, with paint applied over the whole thing (running right over the fire clouding). An old crack is in the base. The impression of cord marking on the interior bottom is a sure sign of Ban Na Di provenance, as most pots there were formed over the round bases of other vessels that had been shaped with cord-wrapped paddle and anvil. The appliqué is also characteristic of Ban Na Di. Appliqué appeared on Ban Chiang vessels at a different time and not with the same proportion. This pastiche was probably put together in Ban Pulu, which was the "conservation laboratory" for refiring sherds, patching, and making pastiches.

3. (Louise Cort, 25 April 2005) A Ban Na Di vessel of this type, with its distinctive "broken cord" around the neck, is illustrated in Woodward 2003, 13, fig. 2. Woodward mentions: "Much evidence about the developments of the first millennium B.C. comes from the site of Ban Na Di (Nong Han district, Udon), about twenty kilometers southwest of Ban Chiang and just beyond the limits of the Songkhram watershed. According to the elaborate report published in 1984, Ban Na Di was for about the first seven hundred years of the first millennium B.C. a cemetery for a peaceful bronze-age population. Three items from a single grave of this period appear in fig. 2: a pot, a bronze bracelet, and a typical if fragmentary hand-modeled figure of a bull.... The Ban Na Di evidence suggests that decisive changes did not occur until the late centuries B.C., with the coming of iron and the introduction of the water buffalo and, if not earlier, of wet-rice agriculture. At Ban Na Di these developments were probably due to 'expansive pressures from another social group," and a period of increased warfare and political complexity began."(Woodward 2003, 12–3).

For a short statement on Ban Na Di by the excavator, see Higham 2002, 134–41. The full excavation report is Higham and Kijngam 1984.

Woodward, Hiram. 2003. The Art and Architecture of Thailand. Leiden and Boston: Brill.

Higham, Charles. 2002. Early Cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia. Chicago: Art Resources.

Higham, Charles, and Amphan Kijngam. 1984. Prehistoric Investigations in Northeast Thailand. BAR International Series 231 (1–3). Oxford: B.A.R (British Archaeological Reports).

4. (Louise Cort, 17 November 2014) In 2008 a sample taken from the bottom of the body of this vessel was submitted to Oxford Authentication for TL testing. The result showed that the pot was last fired 2100-3200 years ago.


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