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

Print | Back to Normal Layout

Kendi

  • Earthenware with burnished red slip
  • 16.2 x 19.3 x 14.4 cm
  • Sukhothai ware
  • 16th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Sukhothai kilns, Sukhothai, Sukhothai province, North-central Thailand
  • Provenance: Probably Ayutthaya, Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.339

Description

Melon-shaped kendi with flutted body, tall neck, flared mouth, slightly curved, tapering spout, short foot and recessed base. Body broken and repaired.
Clay: orange-red earthenware.
Glaze: red slip, burnished.
Decoration: None.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, April 23, 2003) Kendis of this type are recovered from the Ko Si Chang Three wreck site at Gulf of Thailand. This ship originated in Thailand and sank in the mid-16th century. These kendis could possibly made in Thailand as well (Green et al. 1987, 56, pl. KSC3 326).

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.

2. (Louise Cort, 11 April 2005) A kendi of this shape, made of unglazed earthenware with traces of polish, and of red pigment in a band around the neck, is published as "Sukhothai" in Songphan 1999, 176.

Songphan Wannamāt. 1989. Khrư̄angpan dinphao. Bangkok: Khrōngkān Sư̄psān Mō̜radok Watthanatham Thai.

3. (Louise Cort, 11 October 2005) Comments from Morimoto Asako, archaeologist specializing in Vietnamese and Chinese ceramics recovered from Hakata [Fukuoka], Short-term Visitor to study the Hauge collection:  Black polished kendis of similar form have been excavated from Nagasaki and Sakai and are identified by Japanese archaeologists as coming from central Java, Indonesia. See Bōeki Tōji Kenkyū no. 23 (2003), p. 34 (Sakai) and p. 67 (Nagasaki); see also p. 67, note 31, for the attribution of the three examples found in Nagasaki to "the vicinity of Indonesia."

Tsuzuki Shinichirō. 2003. "Sakai kangō toshi iseki kara shutsudo shita sanchi fumei no bōeki tōjiki—15 seiki~17 seiki shotō wo chūshin to shite (Unidentified Trade Ceramics Excavated From Sakai)." Bōeki Tōji Kenkyū [Trade Ceramics Studies] 23: 30–41.

Kawaguchi Yōhei. 2003. "Sanchi fumei no bōeki tōji—Tsushima, Iki, Nagasaki (Unearthed Trade Ceramics from unknown production areas in Tsushima, Iki, Nagasaki)." Bōeki Tōji Kenkyū [Trade Ceramics Studies] 23: 58–69.

4. (Louise Cort, 16 October 2005) The slender elongated form of the spout resembles spouts on stoneware kendis found on the Hoi An wreck, which is dated late 15th-early 16th century, although the rims of all those kendis are flanged (Butterfields 2000, nos. 48–70).

Butterfields. 2000. Treasures from the Hoi An Hoard. 2 vols. San Francisco and Los Angeles: Butterfields.

5. (Louise Cort, 4 September 2006) A fragment of a kendi of this type, with most of its red slip lost, was recovered from the unexcavated shipwreck known as the Koh Kong wreck, off the southwest coast of Cambodia, off Koh Sdeck island, Kiri Sakor district, Koh Kong province. The wreck was identified in February 2006, and the recovery is being tracked by the National Museum. Images provided by Hab Touch, Deputy Director, show two black earthenware kendi of this shape; brown-glazed jars of three sizes, also brown-glazed bottle, kendi, and vat, and unglazed mortar, from the Tao Maenam Noi kilns, Singburi province, Thailand; celadon bowls and a gourd-shaped bottle from the Si Satchanalai kilns; unglazed earthenware pots with complex paddle-impressed textures; an earthenware stove; an earthenware vessel coated with white slip, with painted red rings; and a Zhangzhou-ware dish with cobalt kylin design. Cumulatively these wares suggest a date in the 16th century, and they also suggest that the ship must have loaded at Ayutthaya and was heading along the coast to the east. According to Darryl Collins, the wood recovered is charred, suggesting that the ship sank after a fire.

Changed date from 15th–16th century to 16th century.

6. (Louise Cort, 4 September 2006) A burnished, gray-fired kendi of this shape recovered from the Ko Si Chang III wreck (see note 1, above) was dated A. D. 1540 plus/minus 120 (15th–16th century) using TL. Its likely provenance was said to be Central Thailand (Sāyan et al. eds. 1990, 44, 59, no. 115).

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).

7. (Louise Cort, 7 January 2007) Kendis of this shape, with everted mouth rims and elongated, tapering spouts, were recovered from a shipwreck in Samaesan district, Chonburi province and are identified as dating to the 13th–15th centuries (Natthapatra 1992, 110, upper left).

Natthaphatra Chanthawit. 1992. "Ancient Ceramic Chonburi." Sinlapākǭn (The Silpakorn Journal) 35(2): 103–125.

8. (Louise Cort, 9 January 2008) According to information collected by Leedom Lefferts on 31 January 2007 at the National Museum in Ayutthaya, the Thai term for kendi is khon thoo.

According to Australian anthropologist Carol Warren, the Balinese word for this vessel shape is caratan (pronounced "charatan").

9. (Louise Cort, 8 March 2008) "Perhaps the earthenware item most characteristic of medieval Buddhist sites in Myanmar is the sprinkler pot, or kendi….These are found across South and Southeast Asia, generally attributed to the first and early second millennia A.D., from Pakistan to Laos and down the Malay peninsula to Java, though it is only in the Buddhist countries that their function appears to focus on ritual libration. Buddhist cosmology and practice are bound up with the ritual pouring of water, reflecting the story of how Buddha, at the moment of his enlightenment, was able to call on the water he had poured in previous lives to witness his good deeds to come back and wash away the forces of evil" (Hudson et al 2001, 58 [references omitted]).

Hudson, Bob, Nyein Lwin, and Win Maung (Tanpawady). 2001. "The Origins of Bagan: New Dates and Old Inhabitants." Asian Perspectives 40(1): 48–74.


field notes

Submit Comment 0 comments total
 

No field notes found.