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

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Pot with incised decoration

  • Earthenware
  • 12.8 x 16.7 cm
  • 19th-mid 20th century, Nguyen dynasty
  • Origin: Southern Vietnam
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.205

Description

Bottle of compressed globular form with wide flared mouth and flat base blackened from cooking. Some black residue left inside the bottle.
Clay: earthenware.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: four panels of incised cross-hatchings bordered by two double incised lines on the exterior body; spaces between panels and neck painted with red earth pigment.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 24 January 2003) This vessel had been kept with a collection of earthenware cooking pots in Bud and Gratia's house.

This vessel is distinguished by its dense red clay, flat bottom, and incised and hatched decoration. It does not appear to have been shaped using a paddle and anvil. The bottom is blackened with soot.

2. (Louise Cort, 21 August 2003) The Hauges acquired most of their earthenware vessels in Ayutthaya and were under the impression that they dated to the Ayutthaya period and had been pulled out of the river. In fact, however, earthenware cooking pots are still made in the vicinity of Ayutthaya, as in many other communities, and it is very difficult to date such surviving wares.

In 1922 W. R. Graham wrote: "In the museum at Ayuthia where, under the fostering care of H. E. Phraya Boran Rajdhanindr, one of the most learned archaeologists of Siam, a very valuable collection of old pottery has been got together, there are many specimens of common earthenware of variable quality and design, that have been found amongst the ruins of that city and in the neighborhood, and that are all at least 150 years old. Some are very rough in texture and workmanship, and others are of fine clay, carefully executed and of graceful design. None of the articles are quite similar to the earthenware pots of today through the differences are in many instances small." (Rooney ed. 1986, 20).

Graham, W. A. 1922. "Pottery in Siam." The Journal of the Siam Society, 16(1): 1–27. Reprinted in Rooney, Dawn F. ed. 1986. Pp. 11–37 in Thai Pottery and Ceramics: collected articles from the Journal of the Siam Society, 1922–1980: Bangkok: The Siam Society.

3. (Louise Cort, 21 May 2009) The flat bottomed vessel, wheel thrown, with wheel- trimmed base and unusual incised decoration in panels, seems unrelated to any Thai earthenware technique. It seems possible that this might have been a product of ethnic Chinese potters living in Southern Vietnam. 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.

4. (Louise Cort, 22 Dec 2014) Archaeologists Kikuchi Seiichi and Abe Yuriko did not recognize this type of earthenware. They noticed that the inside appears to bear of something like wax; it should be identified if possible.


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