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

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Bottle

  • Stoneware with iron glaze
  • 17.6 x 18.8 cm
  • Quang Duc ware
  • 18th-mid 20th century, Restored Later Le, Tay Son, or Nguyen dynasty
  • Origin: Phu Yen province, Central Vietnam
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.162

Description

Bottle of globular form with cylindrical neck, flared mouth and slightly concave underside. A repair on the mouthrim. Shell scars on the upper half of the body. The shells are possibly used as stacking tools in the firing.
Clay: red clay.
Glaze: dark brown, glossy, opaque, sticky, marred with many pinholes.
Decoration: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, July 30, 2002) Although this pot was grouped with Thai earthenware, the coating of black resin (?) and the distinctive shape make me wonder whether it was not acquired by the Hauges in Saigon rather than in Bangkok. The use of black resin coating is known among Cham and other potters in central and southern Vietnam (compare S2005.198, 202, and others in that group), but it is not known to me among earthenware vessels made in Thailand.

2. (Louise Cort, 12 July 2006) Dr. Luu Hung and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hong Mai, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi, ask whether this vessel could have been bought in Saigon and to have been made somewhere in the Mekong delta area. It is for use in steaming sticky rice (using a basketry steamer inset into the elongated neck) and is comparable in function to S2005.355.

3. (Louise Cort, 16 October 2006) Changed Culture and Origin from Thailand to Vietnam.

4. (Louise Cort, 18 January 2007) A jar with flattened spherical body and elongated neck, ornamented overall with stamped motifs within bands of horizontal combing, especially on the neck, in the collection of Chiang Mai University, is identified as Haripunchai ware (John Shaw 1987, 16[lower left, h. 25.0 cm]). The neck appears to be broken irregularly, so the original form of the rim is not clear.

Could this be Burmese, especially if the black coating proves to be a low-temperature glaze?

Shaw, John C. 1987. Introducing Thai Ceramics; also Burmese and Khmer. Chiang Mai: Duangphorn Kemasingki.

5. (Louise Cort, 28 May 2007) The ceramics storeroom of the Dong Nai Museum in Bien Hoa contains ceramics recovered within the province, primarily from the Dong Nai River, especially in the vicinity of Bien Hoa. The collection includes a number of earthenware pots, but the greater number are totally smooth, without decoration; some have large-scale paddle-impressed texture similar to the Chao Phraya River network pots. No pot of this type was noted.

6. (Louise Cort, 5 June 2007) Shown a photograph, the director and curator of the Quang Ngai Provincial Museum, Quang Ngai, did not recognize this pot as a local product.

7. (Louise Cort, 7 June 2007) Three staff members of the Hoi An Municipal Museum, Quang Nam, commented that they did not recognize this vessel and had not seen any like it.


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