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

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Water Jar

  • Earthenware
  • 19.4 x 23.2 cm
  • 19th-mid 20th century, Bangkok period
  • Origin: Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, or Nonthaburi province, Chao Phraya River network, Central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.370

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 19 May 2005) The type of decoration on this heavy red pot is associated with the Mon pottery-making community on Ko Kret.

2. (George Williams, research assistant, 30 January 2007) In anticipation of the upcoming exhibition, Taking Shape, and to reflect current understanding, changed Date from 19th–mid 20th century to 19th–20th century.

3. (Louise Cort, 18 February 2009) In a meeting at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Pakkret, Nonthaburi, where he is collaborating in a study of pottery production in Nonthaburi province, Mon ceramic specialist Pisarn Boonpoog said that this is the kind of container known as ong nam or ong sai nam (Thai) or hari (Mon). With its broad, flat bottom it would be used especially as the type of water jar used in a small boat.

He has also seen jars of this type used to keep fresh betel leaves cool; as such, the vessel would be called ong plu or maw plu (Thai).

It could also be used to keep charcoal remnants collected from the cooking stove to be used again. As such, it would be called ong dap tan (Thai) or hari jut taan cha (Mon).

Originally the vessel would have had an earthenware lid.

Mr. Pisarn said that production of large red water storage jars at the Ko Kret kilns ceased around fifty years ago, or circa 2500 (1957), in the face of competition from the cheaper glazed stoneware water jars made at the kilns in Ratchburi.

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