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

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Potter's anvil

  • Earthenware
  • 6.8 x 6.1 cm
  • Possibly Ban Chiang culture
  • 1st millennium BCE, Prehistoric period
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.187

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 1 April 2005) "Oc Eo."

2. (Louise Cort, 7 January 2007) This anvil is not all that different in form and size from a Late Period (300 B.C.–200 A.D.) anvil excavated from Ban Chiang, in Northeast Thailand (White 1982 76, fig. 87).

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

3. (George Williams, 29 January, 2007) In anticipation of the upcoming exhibition, Taking Shape, the dates have been changed from 6th–early 11th century to 3rd–6th century to reflect the most recent scholarship.

4. (Louise Cort, 3 April 2007) According to my notes from 24 Jan 2003, when we collected this anvil from the Hauges' home, it and S2005.187 were in a box of miscellaneous objects on a shelf in rear room of the basement of the Hauges' "Southeast Asia house." Bud does not recall where he acquired it, but thinks most likely in Thailand. Victor did not acquire any anvils from Northeast Thailand and thinks this is possibly from Central Thailand. Thus my recollection that the anvils were part of the "Oc Eo" group seems to have been mistaken.

5. (Louise Cort, 23 May 2007) Anvils from Oc Eo viewed at the Museum of Vietnamese History, Ho Chi Minh City, have textured faces—sometimes with incised concentric circles. This adds to the likelihood that the two anvils in the Hauge collection do not belong to the Oc Eo culture.

6. (Louise Cort, 3 October 2008) It seems likely that the Hauges acquired this anvil from Thailand, and that it came from a prehistoric context.

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