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
  • 25.4 x 34.8 cm
  • 16th-17th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Chao Phraya River network, Central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.396

Description

Cooking pot of compressed globular form with broad flaring neck, rolled lip, a hole perforated through the round bottom which is blackened from cooking.
Clay: light brown earthenware.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: a band of zig-zag patterns paddle-impressed on the shoulder; striped texture paddle-impressed on the body and base.

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 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 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 iv (Green et al 1987, 55–61).

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. (Candy Chan, May 23, 2003) Shards with the same pressed decoration were excavated from the Ban Tao Hai kilns, in Phitsanulok, Thailand (Hein and Sangkhanukit 1985, 83, photo 15, A1280).

Hein, Don, and Prachote Sangkhanukit. 1985. Report on the Excavation of the Ban Tao Hai kilns, Phitsanulok, Thailand. Research Centre for Southeast Asian Ceramics Papers 1. Adelaide: University of Adelaide.

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.

4. (Louise Cort, 31 March 2008) A pot with similar patterning on the shoulder and body, smaller in size (h. 21 cm) and with a proportionately lower, wider rim, is published in Brown et al (1977), no. 105. It is dated, without explanation, "tenth to fifteenth centuries."

Brown, Roxanna M., Otto Karow, Peter W. Meister, and Hans W. Siegel. 1977. Legend and reality: early ceramics from South-East Asia. Kuala Lumpur and New York: Oxford University Press.

5. (Louise Cort, 7 April 2008) Fragments of earthenware pots bearing this "basketweave" type of paddle-impressed texture were excavated from a site in Nagasaki datable to the second half of the 16th century–first half of the 17th century (Tokyo-to Edo-Tokyo Hakubutsukan ed. 1996, 85, no. 2-24).

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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