Bottle or vase

  • Stoneware with iron glaze
  • 15.7 x 10 cm
  • Maenam Noi ware
  • 16th-17th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Maenam Noi kilns, Singburi province, Central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.326


Pear-shaped bottle with trumpet-liked neck, flared mouth, high foot on a disc-shaped base.
Clay: buff-grey stoneware.
Glaze: brown, low gloss, crazed; falls short some distance above foot.
Decoration: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, April 25, 2003) Bottles of this type, both glazed and unglazed, with or without foot, were unearthed at kilnsites along Maenam (River) Noi in Choeng Sub-district, Bang Rachan District, Singburi province, Central Thailand from 1988 to 1989. These brick built kilns are horizontal crossdraft kilns in ovoid shape, with a lower fire box in the front, an inclined firing chamber in the middle and a chimney at the end (Sāyan 1988, 18, 41, 50, 64; Chārưk 1990, 27, 76–78).

Sāyan Phraichānčhit (Sayan Phraichanchit). 1988. Rāi ngān kānsamrūat lae khutkhon Tao Mǣnam Nǭi: Tambon Chœng Klat, Amphœ Bang Račhan, Čhangwat Singburī (Report on the survey and excavation of the Maenam Noi kilns, Bang Rachan town, Sing Buri province). Bangkok: Krom Sinlapākǭn (Fine Arts Department).

Chārưk Wilaikǣo (Charuk Wilaykaen). 1990. Tao Mǣnam Nǭi 2 [Maenam Noi Kilns, part 2]. Bangkok: Krom Sinlapākǭn (Fine Arts Department).

2. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, April 28, 2003) Glazed bottles of this type were found in the Ko Si Chang Three shipwreck, the third wrecksite discovered near Ko Si Chang in the Gulf of Thailand. This mid-16th century ship is possibly originated from Thailand, which carried material from Thailand, Vietnam and China. Stoneware storage jars from Maenam kilns were the main finds in this site (Green et al 1987, 69).

Green, Jeremy, Rosemary Harper, and Vidya Intakosi. 1987. The Ko Si Chang Three Shipwreck Excavation 1986. Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology Special Publication No. 4. Fremantle: Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology.

3. (Louise Cort, 19 January 2006) These wares are commonly discussed as "Singburi ware," after the province where they were made, but the kiln group that produced them is known more specifically as the Maenam Noi kiln group, after the river along which the kilns were located. Changed Ware from Singburi ware to Maenam Noi ware.

4. (Louise Cort, 5 September 2006) A brown-glazed bottle of this shape, recovered from the Ko Si Chang III shipwreck (1986), was attributed to the Maenam Noi kiln group and dated 15th–16th century (Sāyan  et al eds. 1990, 40, 56, no. 94).

Sāyan Phraichānčhit (Sayan Prishanchit), Siriphan Yapsanthīa (Siriphan Yapsanthea), and 'Atcharā Khǣngsārikit, eds. 1990. Khrư̄angthūaičhāk thalē (Ceramics from the Gulf of Thailand). Vol. 2, Bōrānnakhadī sī khrām (Underwater Archaeology in Thailand). Bangkok: Krom Sinlapākǭn (Fine Arts Department).

5. (Louise Cort, 24 March 2007) Fragments of Maenam Noi ware jars with four lugs, basins, and small mortars, together with necks of underfired stoneware jars (identified as earthenware), were recovered from shallow water about 100 meters off the shore of Ojika island, at the northern end of the Goto island chain west of Kyushu. (The islands belong to Nagasaki prefecture.) The site, named Karamisaki, is a promontory protecting the harbor located just below the former castle site on the island. From 1152 through 1868, the island formed part of the domain of the Matsuura warrior house, based in Hirado. According to a map dated 1718 in the Matsuura History Museum in Hirado, Ojika island lay along the route of Chinese merchant ships bound for Nagasaki. Six Chinese-style stone anchors have been recovered on the island. The Maenam Noi jars correspond in mouth form to such jars recovered from other Japanese sites dating to the second half of the 16th century or early 17th century. Mixed with the Maenam Noi ceramics were Thai earthenware lids and portable stoves, a Chinese stoneware jar and Chinese blue-and-white porcelain (types dating to the second half of the 16th century), and 19th century Hizen porcelain from Hasami. The ceramics were recovered from a shallows made treacherous by swift tides and probably represent the remains of one or more shipwrecks.

Hayashida Kenzo, and Tsukabara Hiroshi, eds. 2002. Yamamioki kaitei iseki (Yamamioki underwater site), Ojika-cho bunkazai chōsa hōkokusho 16. Fukuoka and Ojika-cho: Kyushu-Okinawa Suichū Kōkogaku Kyōkai [Kyushu-Okinawa Underwater Archaeology Association] and Ojika-cho Kyōiku Iinkai [Ojika Town Board of Education].

6. (Louise Cort, 4 February 2008) In the course of his analysis of black-glazed jars from the Sawankhalok and Maenam Noi kilns, Mukai notes that the other types of Maenam Noi wares—black-glazed or unglazed bottles and bowls—first appear in early 16th century contexts.

Mukai Kou. 2003. "Tai kokkatsuyū shijiko no bunrui to nendai (The Study on Brown Glazed Storage Jars, exported from Thailand)." Bōeki Tōji Kenkyū (Trade Ceramics Studies) 23: 90–105 (Japanese), 161 (English summary).

7. (Louise Cort, 21 February 2008) A bottle with this distinctive everted and rolled-up foot was recovered from the shipwreck Australia Tide, along with many storage jars with short necks and four lugs and other types of vessels from the Maenam Noi kilns (Brown 1999, fig. 10). Roxanna Brown dates this shipwreck to 1500–1520 (Brown 2004).

With this ornamental foot shape, perhaps this vessel was truly meant to function as a vase (for an altar?) rather than a bottle.

Changed Date from 17th–mid 18th century to 16th–17th century. Changed Title from Bottle to Bottle or Vase.

Brown, Roxanna. 1999. "Last Shipments from the Thai Sawankhalok Kilns". Pp. 93–103 in Art from Thailand, edited by Robert L. Brown. Mumbai: Marg Publications.

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.

8. (Louise Cort, 29 May 2008) Don Hein, in Washington to present the Pope Memorial Lecture, agreed that this bottle is a product of the Maenam Noi kilns, not Sawankhalok.

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