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

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Dish with fluted rim

  • Stoneware with celadon glaze
  • 6 x 29.3 cm
  • Wang Nua ware
  • 15th-16th century, Lan Na period
  • Origin: Wang Nua kilns, Lampang province, Northern Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.215


Dish with shallow curving sides, broad footring and "pie crust" rim formed by pressing inward with tool or finger.
Clay: buff-grey stoneware.
Glaze: green, crazed; foot and base unglazed.
Decoration: carved striations on the cavetto.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 21 August 2003) According to Dean Frasché, the Wang Nua kiln site was discovered in the late 1960s. A Fine Arts Department survey of 1972 identified twenty-five kilns, of which eleven were excavated. The kiln construction resembles that of Sankampaeng. Frasché thought the complex probably dated to the early sixteenth century (Frasché 1976, 53). John Shaw included Wang Nua in the Kalong kiln complex because of its geographic proximity (Shaw 1989, 41). He mentioned that the kilns were constructed from clay slabs; one kiln was reconstructed on the grounds of the Chiang Mai National Museum (ibid., 142). Wang Nua celadon wares were found in the burials at Tak along the Thai-Burmese border in the 1980s (ibid., 149).

Frasché, Dean. 1976. Southeast Asian Ceramics Ninth through Seventeenth Centuries. New York: Asia Society.

Shaw, John C. 1989. Northern Thai Ceramics. 2nd ed. Chiang Mai: Duangphorn Kemasingki.

2. (Louise Cort, 15 February 2006) In Toyama Satō Bijutsukan ed. 2004, a dish of this type (no. 130, diam. 27.0 cm.), with ridged cavetto but plain rim, is identified as Wang Nua ware and dated 15th–16th century. That date seems reasonable. Changed Date from 14th–16th century to 15th–16th century.

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, 18 February 2008) Roxanna Brown dates the wares to circa late 14th–early 15th century (Brown 1988, pl. 54-e). A row of eleven cross-draft in-ground kilns was excavated in 1972 (ibid., 83 and pl. 54-e).

Wang Nua dishes recovered from burial sites along the Thai-Burmese border are dated 14th–15th century (Sumitr 1992, no. 122–124).

Considered in relation to Brown's "Sawankhalok classic celadon" (Brown 2004), which, like the Wang Nua dishes, is patterned closely in form and glazing after Chinese celadon-glazed stoneware of the Yuan and early Ming periods (14th–early 15th century), Wang Nua dishes might best be dated to the same time frame, in the central decades of the 15th century (circa 1424/30–1487).

Brown, Roxanna M. 1988. The Ceramics of South-East Asia: Their Dating and Identification. 2nd ed. Singapore: Oxford University Press.

Sumitr Pitiphat. 1992. Ceramics from the Thai-Burma Border. Bangkok: Thai Khadi Research Institute of Thammasat University and Osothsapha (Teck Heng Yoo) Co., Ltd.

Brown, Roxanna Maude. 2004. "The Ming Gap and Shipwreck Ceramics in Southeast Asia". Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles.

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