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
  • 16.7 x 20.7 cm
  • 15th-16th 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
  • S2005.391


Pot of compressed globular form with round bottom, tall cylindrical neck and grooved inside rim.
Clay: pinkish orange earthenware.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: an incised ring above paddle-impressed vertically-oriented striped decoration (straight lines alternating with zigzag) on the shoulder, paddle-impressed diagonally-oriented decoration on the body and base.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, 21 May, 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 to earthenware pots with pressed (paddle-impressed) 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. Pots 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 the body were identified as either Thai or Burmese and dated to 15th–16th century (Nezu Bijitsukan ed. 1993, 73, 202, 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.

2. (Louise Cort, 5 September 2006) A pot of this size and shape, made of reddish-yellow clay, with paddle-impressed texturing over the entire body, was recovered from the Rang Kwian shipwreck and is dated by associated materials A.D. 1270 +/- 60 (13th century)—probably too early.

Another pot of similar size, made of buff clay, with overall paddle-impressed texturing, was recovered from the Ko Si Chang I shipwreck and is dated A.D. 1570 +/- 90 (15th–16th century). Both pots are attributed to Central Thailand and described as "large storage pots" (Sāyan et al eds. 1990, 42, 57–58, nos. 102–103).

A "large storage pot" recovered from the Ko Si Chang III shipwreck (1986) was found to contain duck eggs (ibid., 42, 58, no. 104).

Sāyan Phraichānčhit (Sayan Prishanchit), Siriphan Yapsanthīa (Siriphan Yapsanthea), and 'Atcharā Khǣngsārikit, eds. 1990. Khrư̄angthūai čhāk thalē (Ceramics from the Gulf of Thailand). Vol. 2, Bōrānnakhadī sī khrām (Underwater Archaeology in Thailand). Bangkok: Krom Sinlapākǭn (Fine Arts Department).

3. (Louise Cort, 26 May 2007) An earthenware pot of closely similar compressed spherical shape and paddle-impressed patterning (stripes on the shoulder, oriented nearly vertically, and parallel lines on the lower body) is in the collection of the Ba Ria Vung Tau Museum. Its condition indicates that it was recovered from underwater. The neck was broken close to the shoulder and reinforced with a ring of iron strapping, as though it had been used for a while before being acquired by the museum.

4. (Louise Cort, 22 May 2008) This pot is given a tentative date of 15th–16th 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 A.


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