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Little 11th Century bottle--Chinese or Korean?
This was a weekend thrift store find, and to be honest, I would never have purchased it, had it not had the "11th century" label on the bottom! Thank you, previous owner.
So I spent my $4 and purchased it. After looking online, I do think that it is likely 11th century, but I am not sure of the origin. I found an example of a Song jar that has similar little loop handles, and a Korean example with a similar fluted neck. The green-grey glaze is not distinct to me, nor is the stoneware body. The body is not as orange as it looks in the photos (it is not terracotta)--the photo of the bottom is the more faithful to the color of the body.
That's a Sawankhalok (Sukhothai) ware, from 14-15th Century Thailand, sometimes called a "grenade" jar/bottle. They were a trade item, exported across maritime SE Asia. Many examples today are from shipwrecks or found in the Philippines or Indonesia. Some examples in the 2nd picture here:
The glaze color ranges widely, from black and brown through very light green.
Hope that helps,
Thank you so much for the reply. Sukhothai! I have heard of that, mainly because I have another piece that I researched and discovered was Sukhothai, a goose ewer. But looking at my little vase and at examples online, I now suspect that my goose ewer is much later. Can I ask your opinion?
Here are some photos. My research indicated that these goose ewers date to the 15th-16th century, but were also made in the 19th century, and for all I know, as replicas today. This 6" tall ewer is well formed, but what makes me think that it is more modern than the vase is the base material, which is much smoother and more refined than my little vase, or other Sukhothai examples I find online. Also, there are the remains of a firing ring on the bottom, but the vase actually still sits level, as a large glaze drip on the other side keeps it level. this sloppy for a real piece. What do you think is the age of this piece?
This was one of my first pieces, found about 2 years ago, and real or not, it got me interested in Asian ceramics.
in my opinion it’s modern. The glaze is too thick and shiny and the chips on the rim are suspicious too. One would expect to see the damage on a more vulnerable point like the crest or tail. But it’s a decorative piece and it started your interest in Asian porcelain so it has a personal value.
At a local auction I found this 15th century toad. Below is what Peter said about it.
Based on the images, as best as I can tell it's an old one. Particularly the color of the amber glaze and crackle … Many of thse have been dug up from graves, and often have bits of red clay stuck to them. If it comes off fairly easily, that's a good sign.
Another possibility is that your ewer is from Cambodia. They made a lot of brown glazed animals, though the old ones have a rather thin glaze.
I agree with Birgit that this vase is most likely modern, and possibly Cambodian. All of the Thai goose ewers I've seen have been celadons. They also usually have less incised decoration and the incisions are typically much shallower.
If old, I'd expect a lot more wear on the glaze drips on the bottom. There's something too "perfect" about the glaze drips as well, they way they're so evenly spaced apart. Whether that's a reflection of the more refined (and therefore consistent and predictable) modern glaze materials, or a sign that a glaze resist was used to channel the drips, I'm not sure. But those nicely spaced drips do stand out to me as a red flag.
Of course, none of this is written in stone... or stoneware for that matter. 😆 You might see more convincing signs of age as it's in your hands.
Incidentally, there's a great page here that goes over the various Thai kilns.
Back to your grenade bottle, strange question, does it have any specific smell? One that I have was apparently used to transport some type of fragrance or fragrance extract, and retains that scent even today. How does it smell? Let's just say that perfumes and fragrances have improved greatly over the last 5-600 years!
Thanks, Craig and Birgit. I still like the goose ewer, and it will be displayed in my house, recent or not!
I smelled my little jar, and it smelled like dust and clay, so I washed it, and it smelled like wet clay. On the inside, anyway, where there was residual dirt. But on the outside--it smelled like wet clay as well. And maybe, just the faintest slightly sweet, slightly musky smell. Maybe. More like a spice than a fragrance. I put it under a lamp for a few minutes to see if the heat would enhance the scent, and... maybe, just maybe. But I would not bet on it!
Haha Charles, I'm sorry, I sent you on a wild "goose" chase hunting for the scent. But any chance your bottle is a shipwreck piece?
I love the goose ewer as well. There's something really pleasing about that SE Asian style for mythical birds and beasts. Plus, the Hindu connection is interesting.
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