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

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Cooking pot with overall paddle-impressed texture and lid with incised decoration

  • Unglazed earthenware
  • 21.8 x 27.1 cm
  • 19th-mid 20th century, Nguyen dynasty
  • Origin: Kien Giang province, Mekong River Delta, Southern Vietnam
  • Provenance: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.190a-b


Pot of compressed globular form with short neck, wide flaring mouth, round bottom and a conical lid with a lotus bud knob.
Clay: brown earthenware.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: the lid is decorated with incised triangular designs radiating from the knob. The pot is paddled with a row of cross-hatchings on the shoulder, vertical stripes filled with diagonal lines on the body.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 21 August 2003) According to Victor Hauge when we collected this vessel from his home on 24 January 2003, it had been acquired in Saigon. I wonder whether it might be the product of an ethnic Khmer potter working in the Mekong River delta.

2. (Louise Cort, 5 January 2007) Especially since the matching lid still accompanies the vessel (the same is true for S2005.190a–b), it is likely that both vessels date to the 19th–20th century. In Ho Chi Minh City in 1998, I saw sold as antiques used and somewhat sooty jars of the same sort that I had seen being made in the Khmer pottery-making community in the Mekong delta (Dau Doi village, Sok Xoai commune, Hon Dat district, Kien Giang province).

3. (Louise Cort, 6 October 2010) A cooking pot with this type of lid, but with a lobed body, is in the collection of the British Museum (3103).

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