Round bottle with two vertical ring handles and carved decoration

  • Stoneware with misfired celadon glaze
  • 14.1 x 15.9 cm
  • Sawankhalok ware
  • 15th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Sawankhalok kilns, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai province, North-central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.259


Globular bottle with cup-shaped mouth, carved footring and recessed base. Two loop handles on shoulder.
Clay: light grey stoneware with black impurities.
Glaze: celadon, glossy, crackled; whitish with large crackles at one side, possibly underfired; foot and base unglazed.
Decoration: incised rings and downward pointed lotus petals on upper body.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Intern, April 15, 2002) The bottle has remnants of oil on the exterior body. It could possibly have been used as a container for coconut oil (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco ed. 1993, 123[pl. 92]).

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, ed. 1993. Thai Ceramics: The James and Elaine Connell Collection. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press.

2. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 19, 2003) Bottles of this type with similar decoration were found in the Longquan shipwreck (+/- 1400 AD), together with celadon plates of same design. This shipwreck is a South China Sea type vessel that sank in the 15th century in the South China Sea off the eastern coast of Malaysia. It carried Chinese celadon, Sisatchanalai celadon, underglaze iron black Sukhothai wares, and Suphanburi storage jars. From approximately 100,000 pieces of ceramic, 40% of the ceramic finds were Chinese, 40% Sisatchanalai and 20% Sukhothai. No Chinese blue and white were found (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, 37, 49, fig. 19).

A celadon-glazed globular bottle of this type is in the James and Elaine Connell collection at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco ed. 1993, 123[pl. 92]).

Bottles of this type, dated 14th–15th century, were unearthed at a grave site in Puerto Galera, Mindoro in Philippines, together with other burial objects dating from 10th to 15th century (Locsin and Locsin 1967, 168, pl. 166).

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

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, ed. 1993. Thai Ceramics: The James and Elaine Connell Collection. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press.

Locsin, Leandro, and Cecilia Locsin. 1967. Oriental Ceramics discovered in the Philippines. Rutland, VT and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co.

3. (Louise Cort, 29 January 2004) Potter Mark Hewitt, Pittsboro, North Carolina, remarked that the glaze effects on this bottle resulted from its being placed "down on the floor, close to the wall" in the kiln chamber, with the result that one side received high heat while the other (with large crackles) stayed cool.

4. (Louise Cort, 17 February 2008) Roxanna Brown (2004) dates the Longquan shipwreck to circa 1424/30–1487 and describes the Sawankhalok ware in its cargo and on other wrecks of this period as "classic celadon," characterized by a mature celadon glaze and elaborate carved decoration.

Changed Date from 14th–15th century to 15th century.

Celadon-glazed round bottles with incised designs on the shoulder also appear on the Santa Cruz wreck. Brown points out the patches of underfired whitish glaze on the lower body (Brown 2004, 1–2, pl. 62). Brown dates the Santa Cruz wreck circa 1488–1511.

This vessel falls within Don Hein's Transitional Stoneware (TRSW, late 14th–15th century) or Later Stoneware (LASW, 15th–16th century).

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.

Hein, Don. 2001. "The Sawankhalok Ceramic Industry: from Domestic Enterprise to Regional Entrepreneur". PhD Thesis, Department of Science and Technology, Deakin University, Melbourne.

5. (Louise Cort, 29 May 2008) Don Hein, in Washington to present the Pope Memorial Lecture, stated that this bottle was part of the late production at Sawankhalok, as indicated by the small diameter of the scar left by the tubular support—characteristic of the late period. The shape of the rim is distinct to the LASW (Late Stoneware) phase at the kilns. The footrim is abraded, indicating either that the bottle was well used or that the rim was ground down.

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