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

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Bowl (waster)

  • Stoneware with white slip and iron pigment under clear glaze
  • 9.7 x 21.3 x 16 cm
  • Sukhothai ware
  • 16th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Sukhothai kilns, Sukhothai, Sukhothai province, North-central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.301


Bowl with warped body, everted mouthrim and splayed foot; four scars from firing stacking disc on the well, a loss at the rim.
Clay: grey stoneware with white specks, coarse and grainy.
Glaze: greying green, glossy, transparent, with pinholes on the exterior lower body; foot and base unglazed.
Decoration: painted in iron brown pigment over white slip with a cakra swirl encircled by a ring on the interior bottom, a band of compartmental vegetal designs on the lower cavetto, a band of broad slanted lines divided by sgraffitto diagonal lines on the upper cavetto, two bands of calligraphic strokes on the exterior.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 19, 2003) Sukhothai underglaze iron bowls with cakra motifs were found in two mid-16th century shipwrecks, the Xuande cargo (+/-1540) and the Singtai shipwreck (+/-1550). Brown speculates fish and flower motifs appeared earlier than the cakra and starburst motifs on the Sukhothai underglazed wares (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, 68, color pls 74, 78–79).

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

2. (Louise Cort, 21 May 2008) Based on her research on shipwrecks, Roxanna Brown dates densely decorated Sukhothai ware bowls of this type to shipwrecks of the sixteenth century, including the Singtai and the Xuande (both circa 1512–1540); (Brown 2004).

Changed Date from 15th–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.

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