Water pot

  • Earthenware with black resin coating
  • 19.5 x 19.9 cm
  • 19th century, Kon-baung or Colonial period
  • Origin: Burma
  • Provenance: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.194

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.

8. (Louise Cort, 21 May 2009) To Period added Nguyen dynasty, to Date added 19th century, although there is no real evidence for the date of place of production of this pot.

9. (Louise Cort, 5 Feb 2015) On a short first visit to Myanmar (centering on Yangon) last month, I learned that this pot was probably made somewhere in Lower Myanmar.

A temple in Bago housed a collection of ceramics found in the local area that included one unglazed earthenware pot with an elongated cylindrical neck, bearing horizontal ridges, and with stamped motifs of leaves and horses on the shoulder. The body, made of light-colored, fine-grained clay, was more spherical than that of this vessel. The mouth rim was missing.

Another related vessel, made of red-firing earthenware and undecorated, was in the collection of the Myanmar Ceramic Society, located in Twante.

Changed Period from Nguyen Dynasty to Kon-baung or Colonial period. Kept Date as 19th century, although an earlier date seems possible. Because of the elongated neck and the probable purpose of the resin coating, changed Title from Cooking pot to Water pot. Changed Origin from Mekong River delta, Southern Vietnam, to Burma (Myanmar). The probable Provenance for this pot is not Saigon (see note 1) but Bangkok.


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