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
  • 35.1 x 41.6 cm
  • 16th-17th century, Ayutthaya period
  • Origin: Chao Phraya River network, Central Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.397


Pot of compressed globular form with round bottom, tall flaring neck and curve in lip.
Clay: brown earthenware, coarse.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: two rows of paddle-impressed decoration on the shoulder; paddle-impressed interlaced diamond texture on the body and base.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 23, 2003) Spinks points out that earthenware pots of this type were made at kilns along the Maenam Cao Phraya river in Ayutthaya during the Ayutthaya period (AD 1350–1763). Yet, no exact kilnsite has been reported (Spinks 1976, 188–189, pl. 4).

Spinks, Charles N. 1976. "The Ayuddhaya Period Earthenwares, some Contemporary Thai Kilns, their Wares and Potting methods." The Journal of the Siam Society 64(2): 188–201.

2. (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.

3. (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.

4. (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 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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