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

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Dish with incised decoration

  • Stoneware with celadon glaze
  • 6.3 x 29.8 cm
  • Twante ware
  • 14th-15th century, Ra-manya period
  • Origin: Irrawaddy Delta kilns, Lower Burma
  • Provenance: Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.209


Dish with shallow curving sides, wide flat rim and short carved footring; the exterior surface was scrapped possibly by a wooden tool.
Clay: grey stoneware.
Glaze: grassy green, transparent, glossy, crackled where thick; the underside unglazed.
Decoration: two incised rings on the interior.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 24 January 2003) Thailand, northern, Wang Nua?

2. (Louise Cort, 15 February 2006) The cutting of the foot of this dish, with a circle in the center of the base showing the traces of string-cutting, surrounded by a smoothed surface and trimmed footrim, suggests a relationship to a Burmese kiln. Compare the dish attributed to the Twante kilns, southwest of Rangoon, in Toyama Satō Bijutsukan ed. 2004, no. 2 (d. 32.0 cm). The formation of the rim creates a similar pooling of the green-toned glaze at the inner edge. The interior is ornamented with three incised circles, one at the edge of the bottom and two toward the center. The dish is dated 14th–15th century.

Changed Culture from Thailand to Burma; deleted Lan Na period. Added Date 14th–15th century. Changed Origin from Thailand, Northern Thailand, possibly Wang Nua ware to Burma, possibly Twante kilns.

Toyama Satō Bijutsukan (Sato Memorial Art Museum Toyama), ed. 2004. Tōnan Ajia kotōji ten IX—Myanmaa to sono shūhen (Special Exhibition; South-east Asian Ceramics vol. 9) [Burma and environs]. Toyama: Tōyama-shi Kyōiki Iinkai (Toyama City Board of Education).

3. (Louise Cort, 24 January 2007) Myo Thant Tyn and U Thaw Kaung give information on the Twante (Twantay) kilns (Myo and U 2003, 298–299, fig. 19.10). Fig. 19.10 shows surface finds from the site—dishes of this type and with plain rims, bowls, lidded boxes (?), components of pedestal-based jars, and tall columnar firing supports.

Myo Thant Tyn, and U Thaw Kaung. 2003. "Myanmar Historic Earthenware". Pp. 285–299 in Earthenware in Southeast Asia—Proceedings of the Singapore Symposium on Premodern Southeast Asian Earthenwares, edited by John N. Miksic. Singapore: Singapore University Press and the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society.

4. (Louise Cort, 27 September 2007) Sasaki Tatsuo, in Washington to attend the Forbes symposium, saw the related dish S2005.210 on exhibition in Taking Shape (the base was not visible) and said he felt that it was probably not Burmese but northern Thai. The sherds of similar design he saw at Burmese kiln sites were coarser in quality.

5. (Louise Cort, 7 March 2008) Recent discoveries of kiln sites for glazed stoneware scattered at various sites in the lower Irrawaddy River delta suggest that production was widespread and it is no longer appropriate to identify this dish specifically with Twante. In Origin, deleted Twante kilns, Rangoon (Yangon) division, added Irrawaddy Delta kilns.

6. (Louise Cort, 29 May 2008) Don Hein, in Washington to present the Pope Memorial Lecture, felt this dish was Burmese, not Thai. The footrim is thin and—notably—glazed, and the base bears no scar of a tubular firing support.

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