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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Thai
Creator Name-CRT: Thai
Title: Jar
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1300
Creation End Date: 1399
Creation Date: 14th century
Creation Place: Thailand, possibly north Thailand
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Stoneware with incised and applied design under glaze
Dimensions: H. 17 7/8 in. (45.4 cm); D. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.095
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: A ceramic industry flourished in north-central Thailand during the 14th through 16th centuries, and recent archaeological findings suggest that several hundred kilns were active in the region. This stunning jar provides a rare example of ceramics produced in the northern part of Thailand, where archaeologists have uncovered more than 200 kilns, many of them grouped together within close range of major cities. The mountainous terrain of this part of Thailand, which made transport of materials and products difficult, contributed to the development of local centers of ceramic production. One of the most important kiln areas was Kalong, which was ideally situated to provide ceramics to populated areas such as Wiang Pa Pao and Wang Nua. Ceramics from Kalong are highly esteemed and considered among the best examples of wares from northern Thailand.

Possibly because of its minimal decoration--just a series of wavy incised lines found along the shoulders--this large green-glazed jar has often been attributed to the kilns at Kalong. However, the pale gray body distinguishes it from the Kalong wares, which were generally made of a pale, buff-colored clay. Shards with a gray body and a pale green glaze similar to those of this piece were found in 1979 at Phayao to the east of Kalong, and it has also been suggested that this jar is an example of Phayao ware. Identification of its provenance, however, is complicated by the fact that it was excavated from a 13th- or 14th-century stupa in the north-central city of Kamphaeng Phet, which is closer to the better known ceramic centers that produced Si Satchanalai wares. Moreover, ceramics made farther north in Thailand were intended primarily for local consumption, and few examples have been found in other regions of the country. When it was unearthed, this jar was filled with a large number of metal and terracotta votive tablets. It is possible that it was brought to Kamphaeng Phet from some other part of Thailand for a specific purpose.

The shape of this jar is similar to that of other examples from north and north-central Thailand. Funerary urns produced during the 11th and 12th centuries at kilns controlled by the Khmer empire of Cambodia provide one possible prototype for this widespread form.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 45.
Related Document Description: Frasché, Dean F. Southeast Asian Ceramics: Ninth Through Seventeenth Centuries. New York: Asia Society in association with John Weatherhill, 1986, pp. 51, 93.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Hong Kong and Singapore: Hong Kong Museum of Art and National Museum Singapore, 1993, pp. 108, 109.
Related Document Description: Shaw, J. C. Northern Thai Ceramics. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1981, pl. C21B.
Related Document Description: Spinks, Charles Nelson. The Ceramic Wares of Siam. Bangkok: Siam Society, 1965, p. 14.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Tokyo: Idemitsu Museum of Arts, 1992, pp. 88, 138.
Related Document Description: Woodward, Hiram W., Jr. 'Book Review: Khmer Ceramics 9th-14th Century, Vietnamese Ceramics, and Northern Thai Ceramics.' Ars Orientalis 14 (1984), p.141.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.095
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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