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

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  • Stoneware with pale blue glaze
  • 5.6 x 15.4 cm
  • Go Sanh ware
  • 15th century, Vijaya period
  • Origin: Go Sanh kilns, Binh Dinh province, Central Vietnam
  • Provenance: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.126


Bowl with rounded side, flared mouth, rolled lip, carved footring and unglazed stacking ring on interior bottom.
Clay: light grey stoneware.
Glaze: pale blue, glossy, transparent; falls short on exterior upper body.
Decoration: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Intern, April 15, 2002) Bowls of this type were found in the Go-Sanh kiln site and five other sites along the Con river in Binh Dinh province, which were excavated by the Hanoi Institute of Archeology and the Binh Dinh Museum beginning in 1990. The ceramics recovered are dated 13th to 15th centuries, the final years of the Cham kingdom of Vijaya. Trinh Cao Tuong, a ceramics specialist, classifies the ceramic production into three phases. According to the style of this bowl (shallow vessel with rolled or everted rims, partially glazed on exterior), it can be categorized in the third phase, which shares similarities with the Northern Vietnamese ceramics from the 14th to 15th centuries; for instance, the unglazed ring on interior bottom (cf. S2005.110–111, 125, and 129)(Guillon 2001, 64–65).

Guillon, Emmanuel. 2001. Cham Art: Treasures from the Da Nang Museum, Vietnam. London: Thames and Hudson.

2. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, April 22, 2003) Bowls of this type were recovered from the Pandanan shipwreck, which sank near Pandanan Island, off the Southern tip of Palawan, southwestern Philippines. A total of 3,228 intact dishes and bowls from the Go-Sanh kilns, Binh Dinh province, in central Vietnam form the main cargo. Other vessel types from the Go-Sanh kilns are cups, globular jarlets, small ovoid jars and storage jars. This shipwreck is dated to the mid-15th century by referring to the Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese ceramic finds, which gave a more reliable date than the Chinese copper coins with Yongle reign mark (1403–1424) of the Ming dynasty (Diem 1997, 45–48, fig. 6; Diem 1999, 55–64, fig. 12).

Diem, Allison I. 1997. "The Pandanan Wreck 1414: Centuries of Regional Interchange." Oriental Art XLIII: 45–48.

Diem, Allison I. 1999. "Ceramics from Vijaya, Central Vietnam." Oriental Art XLV: 55–64.

3. (Louise Cort, 21 August 2003) In a conversation on 17 July 2001, Victor Hauge told me that he bought a dozen or more of these bowls, which were discovered in Binh Dinh province while he was in Vietnam and brought to the U. S. Embassy.

4. (Louise Cort, 2 August 2005) In a paper presented at the Asian ceramics conference at the Field Museum, Chicago, in October 1998, "Ceramic Production in Central Vietnam (Vijaya)," Allison Diem discussed the production of the stoneware kilns in Go Sanh, Binh Dinh province, as known through excavations in 1993–1994.  With regard to the bowls of this type, she described three phases, distinguished in part by how much of the back of the bowl was glazed. In the first (oldest) phase, the glaze reached close to the foot rim; in the second phase, it was farther from the foot; and in the third phase, most of the back was unglazed. The third phase appears to show the influence of wares from Ngoi, one of the Red River Delta kilns. She said the third phase corresponds to the 15th century. She also mentioned that sherds of Chinese ceramics from Fujian were found in the vicinity of the kilns.

5. (Louise Cort, 12 October 2005) Comments from Morimoto Asako, archaeologist specializing in Chinese and Vietnamese ceramics recovered from sites in Hakata (Fukuoka), Short-term Visitor to study Hauge collection:

She has not seen this clay body or exact glaze on sherds excavated from the "Cham" kiln site at Go Sanh, in Binh Dinh province, although she would agree that this group of bowls falls within the general category of "Cham" glazed stoneware made in Central Vietnam. She participated in the Go Sanh excavation and also saw Cham wares among the burial goods recovered from upland graves in Lam Dong province, near Da Lat. The Go Sanh clay body is very fine. The workmanship of these bowls is close to that of North Vietnam and is more careful than that of corresponding bowls form Chinese kilns. The glaze on these bowls is thick and shiny, whereas the Go Sanh glaze is thinner and duller.  

There is a tradition that the potters who operated the kilns in Binh Dinh province "came from elsewhere."

Binh Dinh bowls are distinguished by a ring cut through the glaze with multiple strokes rather than a single stroke, perhaps using a narrow blade and creating a ridged surface on the bare clay. (The Japanese term for this process is ‘rinjo yuhagi’; the cut-out ring is called ‘wahage’.)

Aoyagi Yōji, and Hasebe Gakuji, eds. 2002. Champa Ceramics, Production and Trade – Excavation Report of the Go Sanh Kiln Sites in Central Vietnam. Tokyo: The Study Group of the Go Sanh Kiln Sites in Central Vietnam, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.   

6. (Louise Cort, 14 July 2006) According to Dr. Lu Hung and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hong Mai, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi, the "Cham" bowls in the VME collection are said to have been excavated in Binh Dinh province by local people.

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