Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia:
Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

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  • Stoneware with thin gray glaze
  • 44.1 x 34.5 cm
  • 18th-19th century, Qing dynasty
  • Origin: Fujian province or Guangdong province, China
  • Provenance: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.61


Clay: brown stoneware.
Glaze: thin grayish glaze.
Decoration: none.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 1 December 2004) A large jar (h. 47 cm; d. 36.4 cm), with dull brown surface and short, inverted neck, was recovered from the wreck of the Tek Sing, a Chinese junk that sailed from the harbor of Amoy (Xiamen) in Fujian province in 1822, destined for Batavia (Jakarta). (Nagel Auctions 2000, TS 336). Sixteen hundred passengers were on board. The cargo included blue-and-white porcelain, celadon, and Dehua white ware ("blanc de chine"), as well as teas, silk, lacquer objects, bamboo furniture, paper, glass beads, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, incense and medicinal materials (ibid., 13). The ship sank in the Gaspar Straits. The cargo was recovered in 1999 and sold at auction in Stuttgart.

It seems likely that this jar was a recent product of a local Chinese kiln, in Fujian or Guangdong.

Nagel Auctions. 2000. Tek Sing Treasures. Stuttgart: Nagel Auctions.

2. (Louise Cort, 11 July 2006) According to Dr. Luu Hung, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, this type of jar is popular for use in the south of the Central Highlands, among the Stieng and Mnong. He states that if this information is correct, the name of the jar is ‘slung’. Usually one jar of this type is valued at one or two buffaloes.

3. (Louise Cort, 29 June 2015) Some jars of related form and glaze were found on board the wreck of the Witte Leeuw, which sank off the Cape of Good Hope in 1613. They are classified as Jars type 5.9 (van der Pijl-Ketel ed. 1982, 236-238). The description emphasizes the coarse clay with black and white impurities, rough workmanship, and gray glaze. These jars may well be products of the Cizao kilns in Fujian, based on what I observed at the kilnsite museum in 2012.

van der Pijl-Ketel, C. L., editor, The Ceramic Load of the 'Witte Leeuw' (1613). Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1982.

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