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
  • 22 x 25 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
  • S2005.398


Pot of compressed globular form with round bottom, tall flaring neck and curve in lip.
Clay: orange earthenware.
Glaze: none.
Decoration: diagonally-oriented paddle-impressed texture of textile-like ornamented stripes on the upper body, bordered on the lower edge by a band of horizontal paddle-impressed lines; paddle-impressed cross-hatch texture on the lower body and base.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 19 May 2004) This long-necked vessel is the form called maw sao lok, used for reeling silk and for steaming sticky rice (in Laos and Northeast Thailand). The elaborate paddle-impressed decor suggests a relationship to earthenware made today by ethnic Khmer potters in An Giang province, Vietnam.

2. (Louise Cort, 12 July 2006) Could this have been made at the earthenware kiln near Ban Tao Hai, Phitsanulok province?

Compare pots with "braided" pattern on the shoulder and cross-hatch pattern on the base, recovered from the Ko Si Chang 3 shipwreck (Green et al. 1987, 57, KSC3 367, a large pot with tall narrow neck and everted rim; 58, KSC3 442, a medium-size pot of the same shape; 60, KSC3 187, a wide-mouthed pot). The wreck also yielded stoneware jars and other vessels from Tao Maenam Noi and an earthenware stove. The ship, about 20 meters long, was assumed to be a "small coastal trading vessel" (ibid., 76).

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.

3. (Louise Cort, 27 February 2007) Earthenware pots of closely related type, with paddle-impressed interlace pattern on the upper shoulder and paddle-impressed pattern of short parallel lines on the lower body and base, were recovered from the Koh Khram shipwreck (Brown 1975, 367–368). Thirty intact pots of this type (h. 15.5 cm) were recovered from the wreck, as were eleven smooth-surfaced wide-mouth pots (h. 10.5 cm) (ibid., 370). Brown describes the ware inclusively as having a "pale buff body, some of which show traces of what may have been a pinkish-cream slip" (ibid., 368). The caption for the one pot illustrated (ibid., pl. 11) describes a "buff to pinkish body and traces of a cream-coloured slip."

Brown, Roxanna M. 1975. "Preliminary Report of the Koh Khram Sunken Ship." Oriental Art XXI(4): 356–370.

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.


5. (Louise Cort, 18 February 2009) In a meeting at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Pakkret, Nonthaburi, where he is collaborating in a study of pottery production in Nonthaburi province, Mon ceramic specialist Pisarn Boonpoog said that this vessel is a jar for water, called maw nam (Thai).

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