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

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Pot with overall paddle-impressed texture

  • Earthenware
  • 13 x 19.8 cm
  • 16th-17th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Chao Phraya River network, Central Thailand
  • Provenance: Ayutthaya, Central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.381


Clay: orange earthenware.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: overall uniform paddle-impressed texture (stripes, straight line alternating with zigzag line), made using one paddle.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (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 wreck site 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 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 iii (Green et al. 1987, 56–61).

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, 12 July 2006) Dr. Luu Hung and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hong Mai, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi, a wide-mouthed earthenware pot of this shape would be used for cooking regular long-grain (as opposed to sticky or glutinous) rice. Compare the form of S2005.355, a pot for steaming sticky rice.

3. (Louise Cort, 13 January 2007) This wide-mouthed pot, the long-necked spherical pot with lid (S2005.394a-b) and the ovoid pot with long neck (S2005.380) all seem to have been made using the same clay material and the same carved paddle with zigzag pattern. In contemporary Thailand, a pot of this shape would be sold (with lid) as a pot for cooking curries (maw geng) or for steeping herbal medicine (maw tom ya). The larger long-neck pot with lid, rather than this one, would probably be used for cooking long-grained rice (maw khao).

4. (Louise Cort, 22 May 2008) This pot is given a tentative date of 16th–17th century based on the analysis presented in "Earthenware from the Chao Phraya River network," within the Place section of the online catalogue, Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia. It is classified as Group 1, Type D.


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