Jar with four horizontal lugs and incised decoration

  • Stoneware with white slip under underfired iron glaze
  • 15.2 x 14.3 cm
  • 15th-16th century, Ming dynasty
  • Origin: Guangdong province, China
  • Provenance: Hue, Vietnam
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.50


The degraded condition of the glaze suggests that this piece may have been recovered from a shipwreck. Otherwise it is underfired.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 24 November 2003) The degraded condition of the glaze suggests that this jar may have been recovered from a shipwreck. A note written by Gratia Hauge attached to the piece reads "Hue 16.20." Hue is just north of the port city of Hoi An, site of the recent spectacular shipwreck excavation near the island of Cu Lao Cham (sold at Butterfields, Los Angeles and San Francisco, 11–13 October 2000). Quite a few Chinese ceramics, recovered at random from the ocean floor by fishermen, were on sale in Hue when I visited in 1995.

2. (Louise Cort, 7 January 2007) The presence of white slip below the amber-brown glaze on this jar, as well as its acquisition in Hue, suggests a relationship to jars made at the "Cham" kilns of Go Sanh in Binh Dinh province. A jar of similar shape and size (h. 23 cm) was among such jars excavated from the Dai Lang cemetery site in Lam Dong province (Bùi et al. 2000, 167). The jar was recovered from the site G3M1224/491 GS. It is dated 15th–16th century.

Bùi Chí Hoàng, Vũ Nhẩt Nguyễn, and Phạm Hữu Thọ. 2000. Những Sưu Tập Gốm Sứ Ở Lâm Đồng (The Collections of Ceramics in Lam Dong). Đà Lạt: Sở Văn Hhóa Thông Tin Lâm Đồng [Lam Dong Ministry of Culture and Information].

3. (Louise Cort, 25 May 2013) The white slip descending well below the edge of the coating of underfired glaze (which would have become translucent amber brown if fired to maturity) suggests a connection to a number of larger (height around 40 cm) Chinese jars with four lugs exported to Japan and used there as tea-leaf storage jars. The best known of all Chinese tea-leaf storage jars in Japan, the jar named Shoka, is of this type (Tokugawa 1982, plate 2, and many other publications). The place of production for such jars (which date 13th-14th century) is still debated, with a likely source in Guangdong or Fujian.

Tokugawa Yoshinobu. 1982. Chatsubo. Kyoto: Tankosha.

4. (Louise Cort, 7 April 2014) Viewing storage on 24 Oct 2011, Pariwat Thammapreechakorn identified this jar as Chinese or Vietnamese.

5. (Louise Cort, 13 May 2014) Archaeologists Suzuki Yuko, Abe Yuriko, and Morimoto Asako agreed that this jar was not from the Binh Dinh kilns, and not Vietnamese; it is Chinese, probably from Guangdong province. They agreed that a likely date was 15th-16th century. Changed Period from Ming dynasty or Later Le to Restored Later Le dynasty to Ming dynasty. Date was unchanged. Changed Origin from Guangdong province, China or Binh Dinh province, Central Vietnam, to Guangdong province, China.

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