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

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Pot with paddle-impressed design

  • Earthenware
  • 18.4 x 25.8 cm
  • 16th-17th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Chao Phraya River network, Central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.372


Pot of compressed globular form with round bottom, cylindrical neck, rolled lip with a groove inside the rim.
Clay: salmon pink earthenware.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: row of paddle-impressed diamond-shaped designs on shoulder, and with some short vertical lines below (probably traces of a paddle with lengthwise incised grooves, smoothed out over the rest of the vessel).

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 21 August 2003) The Hauges acquired most of their earthenware vessels in Ayutthaya and were under the impression that they dated to the Ayutthaya period and had been pulled out of the river. In fact, however, earthenware cooking pots are still made in the vicinity of Ayutthaya, as in many other communities, and it is very difficult to date such surviving wares.

In 1922 W. R. Graham wrote: "In the museum at Ayuthia where, under the fostering care of H. E. Phraya Boran Rajdhanindr, one of the most learned archaeologists of Siam, a very valuable collection of old pottery has been got together, there are many specimens of common earthenware of variable quality and design, that have been found amongst the ruins of that city and in the neighborhood, and that are all at least 150 years old. Some are very rough in texture and workmanship, and others are of fine clay, carefully executed and of graceful design. None of the articles are quite similar to the earthenware pots of today through the differences are in many instances small" (Rooney ed. 1986, 20).

Graham, W. A. 1986. "Thai Pottery and Ceramics: collected articles from the Journal of the Siam Society, 1922–1980". Pp. 11–37 in Thai Pottery and Ceramics, edited by Dawn F. Rooney. Bangkok: The Siam Society. Original edition, Journal of the Siam Society. 16(1): 1–27.

2. (George Williams, research assistant, 30 January 2007) In anticipation of the upcoming exhibition, Taking Shape, and to reflect current understanding, changed Date from 16th–19th century to 16th–mid 20th century.

3. (Louise Cort, 7 April 2008) Fragments of an earthenware pot with a band of similar diamond-based motifs around the base of the neck were recovered from the Takashima residence of the Manzai site in Nagasaki, datable to the second half of the sixteenth century-first half of the seventeenth century (Tokyo-to Edo-Tokyo Hakubutsukan 1996, 85, no. 2-25a).

Tokyo-to Edo-Tokyo Hakubutsukan (Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum), ed. 1996. Horidasareta toshi: Edo, Nagasaki, Amusuterudamu, Rondon, Nyū Yōku (Unearthed Cities: Edo, Nagasaki, Amsterdam, London, New York). Tokyo: Tokyo-to Rekishi Bunka Zaidan.

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