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
  • 14.9 x 14.7 cm
  • 15th-16th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Chao Phraya River network, Central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.380

Description

Pot of compressed globular form with round bottom, tall cylindrical neck and grooved inside rim.
Clay: pinkish buff earthenware.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: a carved ring below the neck, paddling on the body and the bottom. Overall uniform paddle-impressed texture, made using one paddle.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 24 January 2003). This vessel had been kept with a collection of earthenware cooking pots in Bud and Gratia's house.

2. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 21, 2003) Similar pots of this type with long neck were recovered from a mid-16th century shipwreck, Ko Si Chang Three. This is the third wrecksite discovered near Ko Si Chang in the Gulf of Thailand. It carried material from Thailand, Vietnam and China. Stoneware storage jars were the main finds in this site. Green and Harper refer to earthenware pots with pressed (paddled) decoration as rice pots and classify the finds in the Ko Si Chang Three into four groups: i) Large with long flared neck; ii) Medium and small-sized globular-shaped; iii) Medium and small-sized, square at shoulder; iv) Wide-mouthed. They were found on all shipwrecks along the Gulf of Thailand, possibly used by the crew for cooking. Pot of this type should belong to the group ii (Green et al. 1987, 56–61).

Pots of this type with long neck and paddling on body was identified as either Thai or Burmese ceramics, dated to 15th–16th century (Nezu Bijitsukan 1993, 73, pl. 117).

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.

Nezu Bijutsukan (Nezu Institute of Fine Arts), ed. 1993. Nanban, shimamono; Nankai hakurai no chato (Nanban and Shimamono: Exported Southeast-Asian Ceramics for Japan—16th–17th century). Tokyo: Nezu Bijutsukan.

3. (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.


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