Bottle with thick walls

  • Stoneware with white slip under wood-ash glaze
  • 20.3 x 14.8 cm
  • San Kamphaeng ware
  • 14th-mid 16th century, Lan Na period
  • Origin: San Kamphaeng kilns, San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai province, Northern Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.236


Heavily potted squat bottle of ovoid form with small flat mouth lip and flat base.
Clay: light grey stoneware.
Glaze: yellowish-green wood-ash glaze with reddish-brown shadow, low gloss, opaque; base unglazed.
Decoration: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 21 August 2003)  Jars of this distinctive are firmly associated with the San Kamphaeng kilns by discoveries at the kiln sites, including sherds collected by Victor Hauge and now in the Freer Study Collection. Larger, heavy jars of a slightly different shape are also found at the sites (Brown 1988, pl. 49 [h. 20 cm]), but their purposes are not known. Brown describes them as "thick-walled utility jars with flat mouthrims" (ibid., 88). John Shaw describes them as "functional and certainly not beautiful," noting that they weigh two kilograms and "would have been ideal for the transport and storage of wine and other liquids." (Shaw 1989, 65–66).

The conventional dates for the San Kamphaeng kilns are based on the research of Kraisri Nimmanahaeminda, who in 1960 asserted that the potters were brought north from Sukhothai in 1451 and the kilns were abandoned in 1558 (Shaw 1989, 60–61). Brown dates the kilns to circa fourteenth through mid-sixteenth centuries (Brown 1988, pl. 48).

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. (George Williams, research assistant, 30 January 2007) In anticipation of the upcoming exhibition, Taking Shape, and to reflect current understanding, changed Date from 14th– mid 16th century to 14th–mid 16th century.

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