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

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Covered box

  • Stoneware with iron glaze and iron pigment under translucent glaze
  • 12.1 x 13.5 cm
  • Sawankhalok ware
  • 16th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Ban Pa Yang kilns, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai province, North-central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.289a-b


Si Satchanalai covered box with knob handle on lid, smooth clay with iron decoration painted under tranlucent milky glaze with bluish tinge.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 19, 2003) Underglaze iron painted covered box of this type were excavated from the Pa Yang kilnsite, Si Satchanalai, North-central Thailand (Harper 1986, 31, no. 57).

Lidded boxes of this type with ridges are in the Collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia (Richards 1995, 99, pl. 41).

Harper, Rosemary. 1986. A study of painted under glaze decorated sherds Si Satchanalai Thailand. Research Centre for Southeast Asian Ceramics Papers, 2. Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Adelaide, University of Adelaide.

Richards, Dick. 1995. South-East Asian Ceramics: Thai, Vietnamese and Khmer: From the Collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press.

2. (Candy Chan, May 23, 2003) Thai covered boxes were recovered from Puerto Galera, Mindoro and on Verde Island in Philippines. There are burial objects dating from 10th to 15th century. The covered boxes seem to be widely used as grave goods in Philippines (Locsin and Locsin 1967, 127–131, pl. 152).

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

3. (Louise Cort, 20 May 2008) Based on her research on shipwrecks, Roxanna Brown dates iron-decorated boxes from the Si Satchanalai kilns to the sixteenth century (circa 1520–1570/84) and describes them as the most common shape of that period (Brown 2004).

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

4. (Louise Cort, 29 May 2008) Don Hein, in Washington to present the Pope Memorial Lecture, identified this Sawankhalok box as a product of the Pa Yang kiln group. The ribs were luted on; the ribs on the body and lid do not match up perfectly.

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