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35 hits

  • Thumbnail for Thai bronze Buddha head
    Thai bronze Buddha head

    Thai bronze artifact of a Buddha head with a base, Sukhothai style.

  • Thumbnail for Thai Standing Buddha sculpture
    Thai Standing Buddha sculpture

    7 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 1 3/4 bronze of mortar sculpture of a large hand from a standing Buddha, Sukothai style.

  • Thumbnail for Underglaze bowl - bottom view
    Underglaze bowl - bottom view

    From Sawankhalok. Stoneware, H: 3" x Dia. 7 5/8". Underglaze-iron painting on bowls from Sawankhalok and Sukhothai in Thailand, and in the northern kilns of Vietnam, clearly derives from Chinese Guangdong ceramics, particularly those produced in the kilns of Xicun. A popular motif on both the Sukhothai and the Sawankhalok bowls and plates was a solar whorl or wheel, possibly an allusion to that symbol as it is used in Buddhism, to denote the law or teachings of the Buddha. This solar whorl is visible on the interior base of this bowl. The leaves that are painted on the cavetto of the bowl have been added recently. Thus, although the bowl dates to the period of export, it was tarted up in recent times to increase its value. This is not an uncommon practice for resale in Southeast Asia. Aside from the varnished surface of the piece, it was also possible to ascertain the modern addition by applying a small amount of acetone with a q-tip; the painting lifts off easily. The black impurities typical of Sawankhalok clay are visible on the base of this bowl, the white visible on the base is slip, rather than glaze that was painted on prior to firing. Southeast Asian ceramics are never glazed on the bottom, as opposed to Chinese ceramics, which often have a glazed base.

  • Thumbnail for Unglazed jar
    Unglazed jar

    From Pitsanulok, Sukhothai, or Sawankhalok. Earthenware, H: 12 3/4" x 9 ". Jars of this type were produced in huge quantities in Sawankhalok, Pitsanulok, and Sukhothai, and it is impossible to distinguish the production of the three centers. In all instances, the clay body is a grey color and the decoration is appliqued and jabbed on to the surface. Unglazed vessels are often used to contain water, as the liquid stays cool, since the vessel body can breath.

  • Thumbnail for Underglaze bowl - sideview
    Underglaze bowl - sideview

    Sawankhalok, Thailand. Stoneware, H: 3" x Dia. 7 5/8". Underglaze-iron painting on bowls from Sawankhalok and Sukhothai in Thailand, and in the northern kilns of Vietnam, clearly derives from Chinese Guangdong ceramics, particularly those produced in the kilns of Xicun. A popular motif on both the Sukhothai and the Sawankhalok bowls and plates was a solar whorl or wheel, possibly an allusion to that symbol as it is used in Buddhism, to denote the law or teachings of the Buddha. This solar whorl is visible on the interior base of this bowl. The leaves that are painted on the cavetto of the bowl have been added recently. Thus, although the bowl dates to the period of export, it was tarted up in recent times to increase its value. This is not an uncommon practice for resale in Southeast Asia. Aside from the varnished surface of the piece, it was also possible to ascertain the modern addition by applying a small amount of acetone with a q-tip; the painting lifts off easily. The black impurities typical of Sawankhalok clay are visible on the base of this bowl, the white visible on the base is slip, rather than glaze that was painted on prior to firing. Southeast Asian ceramics are never glazed on the bottom, as opposed to Chinese ceramics, which often have a glazed base.

  • Thumbnail for Large storage jar
    Large storage jar

    From Singburi. Stoneware, H: 17" x12". This large storage jar has a dark charcoal-colored body and a dark brown glaze that covers the upper half of the broad shoulder. The interior of the vessel is not glazed. Lugs adorn the shoulder and would have served a functional purpose, as a cover could have been tied over the mouth. Jars such as these would have contained products shipped from the mainland to island Southeast Asia. Large storage jars -- containers for honey, fermented fish, and other natural products exported from the mainland -- were kept and reused for centuries, as nineteenth century Westerners descriptions of collections attest. Large jars were made by coiling the clay, then smoothing out the coils with an anvil either a block of wood or a stone. One can see this type of construction still in use in Southeast Asia today.

  • Thumbnail for Thai Seated Buddha sculpture
    Thai Seated Buddha sculpture

    13 x 4 1/2 x 3 bronze with gilt sculpture of a large hand from a seated Buddha in the Sukothai style.

  • Thumbnail for Charger
    Charger

    From Sawankhalok, 15th or 16th century with 20th century added decoration. Stoneware, H: 2 5/8" x Dia: 11". Green-glazed wares were among the earliest Chinese ceramics to make their way to Southeast Asia. These celadons were coveted because of the belief that they had magical properties such as the ability to reveal poisonous food. To achieve the green color of celadon, glaze made of wood ash mixed with clay and 2 to 5 per cent iron is applied, then fired in a reduction low oxygen atmosphere; the potter accomplishes this by closing the kiln's intake ports at a precise internal temperature, which is determined by observing the degree of incandescence within the kiln through a peephole. If the timing is off, the glaze will maintain its original whitish color. The resulting colors range from a pale, almost white green to a bright apple green, while the glaze finish ranges from matte to a glassy, reflective surface. Large, shallow plates or chargers were particularly coveted in the islands; they reflect Southeast Asian and Islamic influence, as the large size was suited to communal eating. However, this charger probably never was exported, as it slumped in the kiln and was undoubtedly considered a kiln waster. The plate was originally devoid of decoration, with the design now on the surface having been added in recent years by an unscrupulous dealer to enhance the price of the object. Even in the photograph, you can make out how lines mimicking incisions were drawn on both the exterior and interior. The base elucidates the firing technique, as the circular mark indicates the charger was stacked in the kiln using a disc support, the typical Sawankhalok kiln support used to separate the dishes so the glaze does not adhere them together.

  • Thumbnail for Unglazed footed pot
    Unglazed footed pot

    From Ban Tamasat, third to first millennium BCE. Earthenware, H: 6 x 7 3/8 in. Unglazed earthenware was first produced in the third millennium in Southeast Asia. These unglazed vessels were used for domestic use and have been excavated in burials. They were constructed by coiling the clay, then smoothing with an anvil (a piece of wood or stone), rather than being wheel thrown.

  • Thumbnail for Charger - top view
    Charger - top view

    From Sawankhalok, 15th or 16th century with 20th century added decoration. Stoneware, H: 2 5/8" x Dia: 11". Green-glazed wares were among the earliest Chinese ceramics to make their way to Southeast Asia. These celadons were coveted because of the belief that they had magical properties such as the ability to reveal poisonous food. To achieve the green color of celadon, glaze made of wood ash mixed with clay and 2 to 5 per cent iron is applied, then fired in a reduction low oxygen atmosphere; the potter accomplishes this by closing the kiln's intake ports at a precise internal temperature, which is determined by observing the degree of incandescence within the kiln through a peephole. If the timing is off, the glaze will maintain its original whitish color. The resulting colors range from a pale, almost white green to a bright apple green, while the glaze finish ranges from matte to a glassy, reflective surface. Large, shallow plates or chargers were particularly coveted in the islands; they reflect Southeast Asian and Islamic influence, as the large size was suited to communal eating. However, this charger probably never was exported, as it slumped in the kiln and was undoubtedly considered a kiln waster. The plate was originally devoid of decoration, with the design now on the surface having been added in recent years by an unscrupulous dealer to enhance the price of the object. Even in the photograph, you can make out how lines mimicking incisions were drawn on both the exterior and interior. The base elucidates the firing technique, as the circular mark indicates the charger was stacked in the kiln using a disc support, the typical Sawankhalok kiln support used to separate the dishes so the glaze does not adhere them together.

  • Thumbnail for Stoneware Dish (back)
    Stoneware Dish (back)

    From Sankampaeng, Thailand, Stoneware, H: 2 1/8" x Dia. 9". While the export ceramics of the Sawankhalok and Sukhothai kilns have been known in the West since the nineteenth century (though they were ascribed to Chinese kilns at that time), the smaller, northern kiln sites have only been explored beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, the first, Kalong, having been discovered in 1933. Sankampaeng is the second most extensive of the northern kiln sites (with eighty-three kilns). The wares are generally monochrome wares or underglaze iron. This kiln site was probably producing at the same time as Sukhothai and Sawankhalok. This wheat-colored vessel is finely potted, with incised lines as the only decoration. The mouthrim is unglazed, as the plates were stacked rim-to-rim in the kiln. The clay is a pinkish-buff color.

  • Thumbnail for Small storage jar
    Small storage jar

    From Central Thailand. Stoneware, H: 9" x dia.8". Like the large storage jar illustrated here, this vessel, with its buff clay body, is glazed a dark brown on the upper part of the body. The broad lip would have served the same purpose as the lugs on the larger jar, as a cover could have been tied over the broad mouth. These vessels were used both as export ware and for domestic use. A jar of this type would have been thrown in two parts and luted together.

  • Thumbnail for Stucco Buddha head artifact
    Stucco Buddha head artifact

    13 X 10 1/2 X 9 1/2 artifact of a mortar over brick core Buddha head. Ayutthaya style. Northern Thailand (or possibly from a Laotian monument constructed in the Ayutthaya style).

  • Thumbnail for Charger - underside with foot
    Charger - underside with foot

    From Sawankhalok, 15th or 16th century with 20th century added decoration. Stoneware, H: 2 5/8" x Dia: 11". Green-glazed wares were among the earliest Chinese ceramics to make their way to Southeast Asia. These celadons were coveted because of the belief that they had magical properties such as the ability to reveal poisonous food. To achieve the green color of celadon, glaze made of wood ash mixed with clay and 2 to 5 per cent iron is applied, then fired in a reduction low oxygen atmosphere; the potter accomplishes this by closing the kiln's intake ports at a precise internal temperature, which is determined by observing the degree of incandescence within the kiln through a peephole. If the timing is off, the glaze will maintain its original whitish color. The resulting colors range from a pale, almost white green to a bright apple green, while the glaze finish ranges from matte to a glassy, reflective surface. Large, shallow plates or chargers were particularly coveted in the islands; they reflect Southeast Asian and Islamic influence, as the large size was suited to communal eating. However, this charger probably never was exported, as it slumped in the kiln and was undoubtedly considered a kiln waster. The plate was originally devoid of decoration, with the design now on the surface having been added in recent years by an unscrupulous dealer to enhance the price of the object. Even in the photograph, you can make out how lines mimicking incisions were drawn on both the exterior and interior. The base elucidates the firing technique, as the circular mark indicates the charger was stacked in the kiln using a disc support, the typical Sawankhalok kiln support used to separate the dishes so the glaze does not adhere them together.

  • Thumbnail for Jarlet
    Jarlet

    From Sawankhalok. Stoneware, H: 4" x Dia. 2". Small covered boxes and jarlets were exported in huge quantities from the Thai export kilns of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to island Southeast Asia; their uses can only be imagined possibly for spices, unguents, cosmetics, or some other precious commodity. We do know that they were used in burials, possibly taking the place of larger, more valued ceramics. Since glazed wares were not produced in island Southeast Asia, these objects formed an important part of the import market. Two lugs at the shoulders allow a cover to be tied over the top and also allow for suspension of the jarlet off the ground, away from insects and rodents. Indentations in the body of the jarlet gives it a melon shape. The base is finished and the pale celadon is slightly crackled. Jarlets of this type were also produced by the Chinese, but the Thai jarlets generally are more finely finished with a carefully carved-recessed base. Excavations of burials in the Philippines revealed a ceremonial placement of imported vessels around the body Thai jarlets were placed around the head, Chinese plates were inverted over the pubic area, saucers were placed beneath the hands, and local wares were arranged away from the body. What this arrangement meant will never be known, but it does suggest that a specific symbolic significance was assigned to the various vessels.

  • Thumbnail for Bowl
    Bowl

    From Phan, Thailand, stoneware. H: 3" x Dia: 6". The kilns of Phan were discovered in 1962, and, like that of Sankampaeng, they produced ceramics for domestic use, rather than export like the Sawankhalok and Sukhothai kilns. The ceramics from these kilns seem to be almost exclusively celadons. The clay is a light color and often the glazes are very fine. This small, deep-sided bowl is heavily potted with a pale body and fine colored glaze.

  • Thumbnail for Unglazed jar - bottom view
    Unglazed jar - bottom view

    From Pitsanulok, Sukhothai, or Sawankhalok. Earthenware, H: 12 3/4" x 9". Jars of this type were produced in huge quantities in Sawankhalok, Pitsanulok, and Sukhothai, and it is impossible to distinguish the production of the three centers. In all instances, the clay body is a grey color and the decoration is appliqued and jabbed on to the surface. Unglazed vessels are often used to contain water, as the liquid stays cool, since the vessel body can breath.

  • Thumbnail for Unglazed footed pot - bottom view
    Unglazed footed pot - bottom view

    From Ban Tamasat, third to first millennium BCE. Earthenware, H: 6 x 7 3/8 in. Unglazed earthenware was first produced in the third millennium in Southeast Asia. These unglazed vessels were used for domestic use and have been excavated in burials. They were constructed by coiling the clay, then smoothing with an anvil (a piece of wood or stone), rather than being wheel thrown.

  • Thumbnail for Two Thai pots (pot 1)
    Two Thai pots (pot 1)

    Allegedly from the ancient Thailand site of Ban Chiang. Painted earthenware. When this archaeological site was discovered in the 1960s, it predated the earliest known bronze age site in Thailand, and southeast Asian prehistory was rewritten. Ban Chiang was occupied for over 2000 years prior to the Common Era and its accidental discovery pushed the date of civilization in southeast Asia back nearly two millennia. Ban Chiang is a UNESCO World Heritage Area site, considered the most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in South-East Asia. It marks an important stage in human cultural, social and technological evolution during the prehistoric era in Southeast Asia 3600 BCE - 200 CE.

  • Thumbnail for Underglaze bowl
    Underglaze bowl

    From Sawankhalok, Thailand. Stoneware, H: 3" x Dia. 7 5/8". Underglaze-iron painting on bowls from Sawankhalok and Sukhothai in Thailand, and in the northern kilns of Vietnam, clearly derives from Chinese Guangdong ceramics, particularly those produced in the kilns of Xicun. A popular motif on both the Sukhothai and the Sawankhalok bowls and plates was a solar whorl or wheel, possibly an allusion to that symbol as it is used in Buddhism, to denote the law or teachings of the Buddha. This solar whorl is visible on the interior base of this bowl. The leaves that are painted on the cavetto of the bowl have been added recently. Thus, although the bowl dates to the period of export, it was tarted up in recent times to increase its value. This is not an uncommon practice for resale in Southeast Asia. Aside from the varnished surface of the piece, it was also possible to ascertain the modern addition by applying a small amount of acetone with a q-tip; the painting lifts off easily. The black impurities typical of Sawankhalok clay are visible on the base of this bowl, the white visible on the base is slip, rather than glaze that was painted on prior to firing. Southeast Asian ceramics are never glazed on the bottom, as opposed to Chinese ceramics, which often have a glazed base.

  • Thumbnail for Stoneware Dish (front)
    Stoneware Dish (front)

    From Sankampaeng, Thailand. Stoneware, H: 2 1/8" x Dia. 9". While the export ceramics of the Sawankhalok and Sukhothai kilns have been known in the West since the nineteenth century (though they were ascribed to Chinese kilns at that time), the smaller, northern kiln sites have only been explored beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, the first, Kalong, having been discovered in 1933. Sankampaeng is the second most extensive of the northern kiln sites (with eighty-three kilns). The wares are generally monochrome wares or underglaze iron. This kiln site was probably producing at the same time as Sukhothai and Sawankhalok. This wheat-colored vessel is finely potted, with incised lines as the only decoration. The mouthrim is unglazed, as the plates were stacked rim-to-rim in the kiln. The clay is a pinkish-buff color.

  • Thumbnail for Charger - underside
    Charger - underside

    From Kalong, Thailand, stoneware, Dia: 13". Kalong is the largest of the northern Thai kiln sites and was first reported in the 1930s. At least 100 kilns spread over a 15 km area have been discovered in the region of Wieng Papao, Chiangrai province. They are the most dramatic of the northern wares, created in underglaze brown in bold patterns. The clay is pale in color, and the vessels thinly potted with well-carved footrings. Although the decoration on this charger is in keeping with that generally seen on Kalong wares, it is larger than usual and the walls of the plate curve more than one would expect. Thus, one can conclude it is probably of modern manufacture, but, still illustrative of ancient decoration.

  • Thumbnail for Jarlet - bottom view
    Jarlet - bottom view

    From Sawankhalok. Stoneware, 1998.5.9, height 4" x dia.2". By the time the Sawankhalok district kilns stopped production, at least 500 kilns had been built into the banks of the Menam Yom (river), at Tukatha, Ban Pa Yang, and Ban Koh Noi all sited across the river from the ancient capital of Si Satchanalai. Potters working at Ban Koh Noi produced glazed ceramics for local use (called Mon ware by the local peoples) by the thirteenth or fourteenth century and exported goods from all of the sites by the end of the fourteenth century. Numerous jarlets of this type were produced at the various kilns at Si Satchanalai in central Thailand. The glaze is a brown iron glaze and the body typical of Si Satchanalai wares, a buff color with dark impurities. Jarlets of this type were also produced by the Chinese, but the Thai jarlets generally are more finely finished with a carefully carved-recessed base. Excavations of burials in the Philippines revealed a ceremonial placement of imported vessels around the body Thai jarlets were placed around the head, Chinese plates were inverted over the pubic area, saucers were placed beneath the hands, and local wares were arranged away from the body. What this arrangement meant will never be known, but it does suggest that a specific symbolic significance was assigned to the various vessels.

  • Thumbnail for Dish
    Dish

    From Sankampaeng, Thailand. Stoneware, Dia: 9". The pale, wheat-colored glaze of this shallow dish is slightly abraded. The vessel is finely thrown, with a broad, carved foot and a body of pale clay.

  • Thumbnail for KENDI, Sawankhalok style
    KENDI, Sawankhalok style

    H: 6 5/8" x Dia: 8". Buddhist and Hindu rituals in Southeast Asia required the lustration of images, and the kendi, one of the larger vessels used, is depicted in sculptural reliefs as early as the ninth century. This modern kendi is constructed in the typical mammiform shape of the Southeast Asian kendi. Although this piece is modern, it illustrates both an important type of vessel with its links to both Buddhist and Hindu ritual and decorative techniques used in the production of Thai ceramics. The potter has incised the vessel in an overall, unidentifiable floral motif, then used an iron brown glaze to fill the design and a wood-ash white glaze for the background. The incised lines serve to separate the two glazes, so that they don't run into each other. In this particular instance, those lines, freshly cut and without any evidence of aging, indicate the vessel is modern.