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

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  • Stoneware with iron pigment under clear glaze
  • 3.7 x 13.8 cm
  • 14th century, Tran dynasty
  • Origin: Red River Delta kilns, Hai Duong province, Northern Vietnam
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.83


Shallow bowl with upright rim, carved footring. Five spur marks on interior bottom.
Clay: buff grey stoneware.
Glaze: clear, transparent, finely crazed.
Decoration: painted with underglaze iron floral design enclosed by a circle on central medallion, three concentric circles below rim.

Curatorial Remarks

p>1. (Candy Chan, Research Assistant, May 23, 2003) Underglaze iron decorated bowls with a floral spray on the well were found in the Turiang shipwreck (+/- 1370), which carried approximately 35% Chinese ceramics, 57% Thai wares and only 8% Vietnamese wares. Sukhothai bowls with similar underglaze iron decoration were also recovered (Brown and Sjostrand 2001, color pls. 10, 12).

Brown, Roxanna M., and Sten Sjostrand. 2001. Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Ceramics in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Department of Museums and Antiques.

2. (Louise Cort, 15 January 2007) "Many" fragments of Vietnamese ceramics of this type, with iron pigment decoration, were recovered at the Sukhothai kilns, according to Don Hein (Hein 2001, 249, fig. 95). Hein dates the activity of the Sukhothai kilns as contemporaneous with the Transitional Stoneware period at Si Satchanalai, late 14th–15th century. That would agree well with the arrival of these "new" Vietnamese designs in the Thai market.

Hein, Don. 2001. "The Sawankhalok Ceramic Industry: from Domestic Enterprise to Regional Entrepreneur". PhD Thesis, Department of Science and Technology, Deakin University, Melbourne.

3. (Louise Cort, 29 May 2008) In Washington to deliver the Pope Memorial Lecture, Don Hein confirmed that this was the type of northern Vietnamese dish found at Sukhothai.

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