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

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Dish with incised decoration

  • Stoneware with celadon glaze
  • 9.5 x 28.6 cm
  • Sawankhalok ware
  • early 15th-16th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Sawankhalok kilns, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai province, Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.266

Description

Dish with rounded sides, flared rim and bevelled footring. A black circular scar from tubular kiln support on recessed base. A repair on rim.
Clay: coarse, light grey stoneware with black inclusions; oxidized to reddish brown where unglazed and not covered by tubular kiln support.
Glaze: bluish green, glossy, transparent, crazed; falls short some distance above foot.
Decoration: incised rings on medallion, a band of combed undulating lines with groups of combed marks on upper cavetto; grooved exterior below a ridge.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 21, 2003) Dishes of this type were found in the Royal Nanhai shipwreck (+/- 1460 AD). This 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 finds of Chinese blue and white bowl of the interregnum period. This vessel carried about 21,000 ceramics, most of which are Sisatchanalai celadon wares. A large number of Singburi jars were also found (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, 51, color pls. 57, 59).

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

2. (Louise Cort, 17 February 2008) Many of the features also found on this dish (light-colored body, well-formulated celadon glaze, carved fluting on the outside wall, an incised vinescroll design on the upper cavetto below the everted rim, scar on the base of a tubular firing support of small diameter) are found on dishes recovered from the Ko Khram shipwreck (Brown 2004, pls. 37–38). A dish recovered from the Belanakan shipwreck has these features plus a plain circle incised in the center bottom (Brown 2004, pls. 1, 57). Brown dates these shipwrecks to the middle 15th century (circa 1424/30–1487) and terms the representative wares "Sawankhalok classic celadon."

Changed Date from 14th–mid 16th century to 15th 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.

3. (Louise Cort, 29 May 2008) Don Hein, in Washington to present the Pope Memorial Lecture, observed that the surface of the bare clay body is very red, probably as a result of the firing temperature. The small diameter of the scar left on the base by the tubular support indicates, according to Hein, production during the LASW (Late Stoneware) phase, early fifteenth through sixteenth century. Changed Date from 15th century to Early 15th–16th century.


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