Votive figure of a man holding a fighting cock

  • Stoneware with celadon glaze
  • 10.6 x 5.6 x 5.1 cm
  • Sawankhalok ware
  • 15th-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
  • S2005.292


Hand modelled male seated figure holding a cock against his chest.
Clay: light grey stoneware with black inclusions.
Glaze: celadon, glossy, transparent.
Decoration: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 25, 2003) Human figurines of this type were made in the Pa Yang kilns in Si Satchanalai. They were possibly used as propitiatory offerings to the spirits. They are still used nowadays in Thailand (Shaw 1987, 27).

Spinks observes that Si Satchanalai celadon male figurines were comparatively rarer than the female ones, and the male figures are usually holding objects as game cocks or musical instruments. This figurine may be holding a game cock, a popular gambling game in Thailand. Spinks also believes that the figurines were used as votive offerings and placed inside the shrines (spirit houses) to guardian spirits of the households or some local spirits of nature such as hill, stream field or sacred tree. Today, the custom of presenting spirits offerings in Thailand is still practicing as a belief of animism (Spinks 1971, 75–88, pl. 39).

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

Spinks, Charles N. 1971. The Ceramic Wares of Siam. Bangkok: The Siam Society.

2. (Louise Cort, 14 January 2007) Don Hein associated celadon-glazed wares in a generally Ming Chinese style with the wares made at Si Satchanalai that he terms LASW (Late Stoneware) (Hein 2001, figs. 42–43). Although Hein is cautious about dating, he suggests that LASW dates to 15th–16th century (Hein 1999, 150).

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

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

Hein, Don. 1999. "The First Underglaze Painted Decoration at Sawankhalok: identification of a key influence? (Diqu shouci chuxian de youxia caihui: Taigou taoci tazhan shi shang wailai yingxiang de zhongyao xiansuo?)." Guoli Taiwan daxue Meishushi yanjiu jikan (The Taida Journal of Art History) 7: 137–158.

3. (Louise Cort, 3 November 2011) According to Pariwat Thammapreechakorn, figures of this type were made at the Pa Yang kilns and date to the sixteenth century.

field notes

Submit Comment 0 comments total

No field notes found.

main image

View larger image [695KB] > >

sample thumbnail