• Stoneware with iron glaze
  • 21.1 x 26.9 cm
  • San Sai ware
  • 14th-16th century, Lan Na period
  • Origin: San Sai kiln, Chiang Mai province, Northern Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.232


Deep basin with s-curved side, flared rim, and flat base.
Clay: brown stoneware.
Glaze: brown, matte to low gloss, opaque; interior glazed unevenly; base unglazed. Glaze was brushed horizontally onto vessel, and drips running toward rim show that vessel was inverted, resting on rim during glazing. Glaze wiped off rim.
Decoration: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 12 June 2003) On my first visit to see the Hauges' Southeast Asian ceramic collection, on 15 March 1984, Victor Hauge described this vessel as probably coming from the kilns in San Sai (or Sansai) village, outside Chiang Mai.

San Sai lies northwest of San Kamphaeng. See the map in Brown 1988, 80 and 83 for a terse description of the site. She did not publish any examples of wares attributed to the site, only sherds in the collection of the Ceramics Museum, Chiang Mai University (Brown 1988, pl. XLV-d), including one sherd with brown runny glaze wiped horizontally. She published one squat jar with such glaze as "kiln site unknown" (ibid, pl. XLIV, c, left) but a tall jar with such glaze found in the Tak/Omkoi burials, now in the Robert Retka collection as "probably Sankamphaeng" (ibid., pl. 50-b).

John Shaw described the wares from San Sai as quite similar to those of San Kamphaeng and as including both brown-glazed and celadon-glazed wares (Shaw 1989, 93–94).

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

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

2. (Louise Cort, 12 June 2003) Many jars with this type of wiped-on iron-based glaze were recovered in the early 1980s from burial sites in Tak province along the Thai-Burmese border (Shaw 1989, 234). Shaw identified them simply as Northern Thai (?). However, he published a wide-mouthed basin of this type as "Sankamphaeng (?)" (ibid., 208).

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

3. (Louise Cort, 21 August 2003) When Victor Hauge and I looked at this piece on 1 June 2001, Victor again told me that he understood it to come from the San Sai kilns, and we noted that it had been fired upside down, resulting in glaze drips running "up" the wall toward the rim.

On 17 July 2001 Victor remarked that he thought he had bought this piece somewhere in North Thailand. He made two trips to the north, one of two months' duration and another shorter one. He traveled with Kraisri Nimmanahaeminda (whom he met through Bud Hauge's introduction) or with Kraisri's driver. The San Sai kiln site had been discovered by Kraisri during excavations to build a road. The attribution of this vessel to San Sai may have been his.

4. (Louise Cort, 18 February 2008) John Shaw proposed that the San Sai kilns should be called more specifically Wat Tao Hai, after the monastery (wat) in the village of Mae Tao Hai ("jar kiln village"), rather than after the district of San Sai, as another kiln had been identified at a different site (Huay Ma Leo) within the same district (Shaw 1989, 94). Sayan Prishanchit refers to the kiln as Ban Mae Tao Hai, although he does not suggest a date for its operation (Sayan 1999, 160). He does not mention Huay Ma Leo.

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

Sayan Prishanchit. 1999. "Key Sites of 15th Century Ceramic Production in the Upper Northern Thailand Lanna Region." Guoli Taiwan daxue Meishushi yanjiu jikan (The Taida Journal of Art History) 7: 159–210.

5. (Louise Cort, 29 May 2008) Don Hein, in Washington to present the Pope Memorial Lecture, remarked that deep bowls with the same form were also made at Sawankhalok.

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