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

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Jar with four horizontal lugs

  • Stoneware with iron glaze
  • 34.2 x 24.5 cm
  • Sawankhalok ware
  • 14th-early 15th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Ban Ko Noi kilns, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai province, North-central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.245


Iron-glazed jar with four horizontal lugs on shoulder.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, April 28, 2003) Jars of this type were found in several wreck sites:

a) The Pattaya Wreck site: It lies near Pattaya in the Gulf of Thailand. Many jars of this type were found together with some Si Satchanalai celadon wares. The date of this site is yet uncertain (Green and Harper 1983, 21–27).

b) The Ko Si Chang Three shipwreck: This is the third wreck site discovered near Ko Si Chang in the Gulf of Thailand. This mid-16th century ship is possibly originated from Thailand. It carried material from Thailand, Vietnam and China. Stoneware storage jars were the main finds in this site (Green et al 1987, 70–75).

c) The Nanyang shipwreck: This wreck site was discovered 10 nautical miles from the island of Pulau Pemanggil, off the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia. Brown dates this site to be around 1380, the last decade of the 14th century. The main ceramic finds of this vessel were Si Satchanalai celadon. According to Brown, the Nanyang is currently the earliest shipwreck with celadon wares from Si Satchanalai. Spur marks are common on these celadon plates. It was a stacking method used in the early phase of Si Satchanalai production. Since brown glazed jars of this type were also found on this vessel, the Singburi kilns can be dated as early as the end of the 14th century (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, 47, color pl. 35).

d) The Royal Nanhai shipwreck: A mid-15th century vessel of South China Sea type was discovered off the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia in 1995. It was dated with reference to the find of Chinese blue and white bowls of the interregnum period. This vessel carried about 21,000 ceramics and most of which are Si Satchanalai celadon wares. A large number of Singburi jars of this type were also found. Brown claims that she mistook these jars as Si Satchanalai ware in her previous publications (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, 51, color pl. 69).

e) The Risdam shipwreck: A V.O.C. ship sank in 1727 near Mersing, off the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia was discovered in 1984. Brown identifies two storage jars of this type to be wares made in the Maenam Noi Kilns (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, 61, fig. 48).

f) The Singtai shipwreck: It lies off the north-eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia and was discovered in April 2001. Storage jars of different sizes produced in the Maenam Noi Kilns are the dominant ceramic finds, but Brown observed the difference in style from the Royal Nanhai hoards (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, 57).

Green, Jeremy, and Rosemary Harper. 1983. The Excavation of the Pattaya Wreck Site and Survey of Three Other Sites, Thailand, 1982. Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology Special Publication No. 1. Fremantle: Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology.

Green, Jeremy, Rosemary Harper, and Vidya Intakosi. 1987. The Ko Si Chang Three Shipwreck Excavation 1986. Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology Special Publication No. 4. Fremantle: Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology.

Brown, Roxanna M., and Sten Sjostrand. 2001. Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Ceramics in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Department of Museums and Antiques.

2. (Candy Chan, May 1, 2003) Shaw supposes that the Singburi kilns began operation from 17th century and ended no later than in 1767, the second invasion of Ayutthaya by the Burmese. The ceramics finds in both the Nanyang and Risdam shipwrecks shed new light on the dating of the Singburi kilns from the late 14th-mid 18th centuries (Shaw 1987, 47–49).

Shaw, John C. 1987. Introducing Thai Ceramics; also Burmese and Khmer. Chiang Mai: Duangphorn Kemasingki.

3. (Candy Chan, May 5, 2003) Singburi jars of this type are also found in the Philippines (Valdes, Long, & Barbosa 1992, 168–171, pls. 144–150).
Valdes, Cynthia O., Kerry Nguyen-Long, and Artemio C. Barbosa. 1992. A Thousand Years of Stoneware in the Philippines. Makati, Metro Manila: Jar Collectors (Philippines) with the support of Eugenio Lopez Foundation Inc. and in cooperation with the National Museum and the Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines.

4. (Candy Chan, May 22, 2003) Thai jars of this type were found in the Hoi An shipwreck, a 15th–16th century cargo carried mainly ceramics made in the Chu Dau kilnsites in Hai Duong province, Northern Vietnam. It was discovered off Cu Lao Cham Island in the area of Hoi An town, an ancient trading port in Quang Nam province, Central Vietnam, with over 150,000 intact ceramics on board (Butterfields 2000, 8–11, pls. 713–714, 716–719).

Butterfields. 2000. Treasures from the Hoi An Hoard. 2 vols, Vol. 2. San Francisco and Los Angeles: Butterfields.

5. (Louise Cort, 19 January 2006) These wares are commonly discussed as "Singburi ware," after the province where they were made, but the kiln group that produced them is known more specifically as the Maenam Noi kiln group, after the river along which the kilns were located. Changed Ware from Singburi ware to Maenam Noi ware.

6. (Louise Cort, 19 January 2006) Morimura identifies brown-glazed jars of this type—with an elongated trumpet-shaped neck, sharply angled "T-shape" rim, and raised band between neck and shoulder, and with four narrow lugs—excavated from the Shuri Castle Kyo-no-uchi site in Okinawa, as Maenam Noi ware (Morimura 2002, figs. 2:15–16; discussion on 254–255).

Mukai, however, on the basis of sherds from Si Satchanalai kiln sites (Mukai 2003, 92, figs. 3:1–2), identifies as Si Satchanalai ware the Kyo-no-uchi jar (ibid., 92, fig. 3:4; 97, figs. 12:1–4) as well as this type of jar excavated in Sakai (ibid., 94, fig. 8:1–2), from the Turiang shipwreck (ibid., 92, fig. 9), from a sunken ship off Ko Kram (ibid., 97, fig. 10), from the Royal Nanhai shipwreck (ibid., 97, fig. 11:3), and from the Ko Si Chang No. 3 shipwreck (ibid., 99, fig. 13:5).

Mukai states that a small-size (around 30 cm) jar of this type (ibid., 94, fig. 8:1) excavated in Sakai is the earliest example of such a jar recovered from a use site, and dates it to 1375–1400. The Turiang shipwreck, dating to the beginning of the 15th century, yielded both small and large (50–60 cm) jars.  Another Sakai jar (ibid., 94, fig. 8:2) dates to 1425–1450. The Royal Nanhai and Ko Khram shipwrecks and the Shuri Castle site all date to the mid 15th century.

Based on Mukai's research, this jar may be dated late 14th–mid-15th century. Changed Date from late 14th–mid 18th century to Late 14th–mid-15th century. Changed Ware from Maenam Noi ware to Sawankhalok ware.

Morimura Kenichi. 2002. "15~17 seiki ni okeeru Tōnan Ajia tōjiki kara mita tōji no Nihon bunkashi—Sakai kangō toshi iseki shutsudo ibutsu wo chūshin to shite (The History of Ceramics in Japanese Culture from the Standpoint of Southeast Asian Ceramics from the Fifteenth Century to the Seventeenth Century: Centering on Artifacts from Sakai-Kango-toshi Relics)." Kokuritsu Reikishi Minzoku Hakubutsukan Kenkyū Hōkoku (Bulletin of the National Museum of Japanese History) 94: 251–294 (Japanese), 295–296 (English summary).

Mukai Kou. 2003. "Tai kokkatsuyū shijiko no bunrui to nendai (The Study on Brown Glazed Storage Jars, exported from Thailand)." Bōeki Tōji Kenkyū (Trade Ceramics Studies) 23: 90–105 (Japanese), 161 (English summary).

7. (Louise Cort, 7 Feb 2008) Mukai Kou’s research (2003) indicated that jars with this type of neck, which he terms "long neck"—with a tall, trumpet-shaped mouth, rising at a sharp angle from the jar's shoulder—were made at the Si Satchanalai kilns but not at the Maenam Noi kilns. He terms them Si Satchanalai Type I. They occur in three sizes—large (h. 50–60 cm), medium (h. around 45 cm) and small (h. around 30 cm). This jar thus is a small Type I jar. 

The Si Satchanalai Type I jars are the earliest form of black-glazed jars with four lugs. They begin to appear on shipwrecks during the second half of the fourteenth century, joining jars from the Ban Bang Pun kilns. The earliest excavated example is from the Japanese site of Sakai (SKT112), from a stratum dated 1375–1400. Another long-necked jar is excavated from a Sakai site, SKT 82, dated 1425–1450. In the early 15th century, both large and small long-necked jars were recovered from the Turiang shipwreck. On the Nanyang shipwreck of the same time frame, however, a new type of Si Satchanalai jar emerges—Mukai's Si Satchanalai Type II, with a short neck curving up from the jar shoulder without a sharp distinction.

Type I jars continue to appear at mid-15th century sites (Shuri Castle Kyo-no-uchi site) and on shipwrecks (Royal Nanhai, Ko Khram). Thereafter, while Type I jars do continue to appear (on the Hoi An shipwreck, for example, in the late 15th–early 16th century), they are gradually replaced by jars from Maenam Noi. The Type I jars that appear as late as the San Diego shipwreck (1600) may be old jars in reuse.

Mukai Kou. 2003. "Tai kokkatsuyū shijiko no bunrui to nendai (The Study on Brown Glazed Storage Jars, exported from Thailand)." Bōeki Tōji Kenkyū (Trade Ceramics Studies) 23: 90–105 (Japanese), 161 (English summary).

8. (Louise Cort, 29 May 2008) Don Hein, in Washington to present the Pope Memorial Lecture, said this was definitely a Sawankhalok jar. It matches the pieces that he excavated from Kiln 54 at Ban Ko Noi. The four scars on the inside surface of the neck were made by a chuck support—a thrown cylindrical form with sections cut out of the vertical surface, leaving four projecting sections—used for stacking. This stacking tool is characteristic of Sawankhalok kilns during the TRSW (Transitional Stoneware) phase, which Hein dates to from circa 1300 through the early 15th century.

Changed Date from Late 14th–mid 15th century to 14th–early 15th century.

9. (Louise Cort, A jar of this size and shape was recovered from the Ko Khram shipwreck, recovered in the Gulf of Siam off the coast from Sattahip (Brown 1975: 367, fig. 8b). Brown 2009 dates this wreck to the middle 15th century, based on the styles of celadon-glazed vessels from the SI Satchanalai kilns (Brown 2009: 173). Finds of Maenam Noi jars (Mukai's Type 3, "neckless" with thick rolled rim and thick lugs) were more numerous that this type, suggesting that this might have been an older jar that was reused (Brown 1975: 362, plate 9).

Sten Sjostrand gave the capacity of Si Satchanalai jars of this size recovered from the Turiang wreck as 12 liters (Sjostrand 2002).

Brown, Roxanna. 1975. "Preliminary Report of the Koh Khram Sunken Ship," Oriental Art vol. XXI, no. 4, pp. 356-370.

Brown, Roxanna Maude. 2009. The Ming Gap and Shipwreck Ceramics in Southeast Asia: Towards a Chronology of Thai Trade Ware. Bangkok: Siam Society.

Sjostrand, Sten. 2002. "Turiang: a 14th century Chinese shipwreck, upsetting Southeast Asian ceramic history." http://www.mingwrecks.com/turiang1.pdf, p. 18.

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