This small jar is the jewel in the crown of the Angkor period ceramics collection formed by the Hauge family—brothers Osborne (Bud) and Victor and their wives, Gratia and Taka—while Bud and Gratia lived in Bangkok in the late 1960s. The Hauges gave their Angkor collection to the Sackler Gallery in 1996 and 1997, initiating gifts that eventually enriched the museum with nearly eight hundred ceramics from mainland Southeast Asia. This jar was Victor’s favorite, however, and he kept it with him. The Sackler Gallery borrowed it for the exhibition Taking Shape: Ceramics in Southeast Asia (2007–11). It is a special honor to bring this outstanding jar into the museum’s permanent collection.
The jar’s form and decoration reflect traits of Chinese container jars that circulated within mainland Southeast Asia during the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. In the latter half of the Angkor period (traditionally 802–1351), Chinese-inspired jars such as this one partially supplanted the characteristic baluster form of earlier Angkorian ceramic jars (S1996.117). Distinguished by their trumpet-shaped necks, ornamental non-functional “lugs,” and tall tapered foot, “baluster jars” were modeled on South Asian prototypes. At the time this jar was made, the center of Angkorian production lay in Ban Kruat in present-day Thailand.
Following Angkorian ceramic taste, the potter who made this wheel-thrown jar then incised the damp clay with bands of decoration to define all parts of the trim, ovoid form. Single grooves mark the join of the neck and shoulder as well as the turn of the shoulder into the body. Four pointed lugs on the shoulder are functional; cords passed through them could have secured a lid. The lugs rest on a band of zigzag combing. An undulating line circles the midpoint of the body. Six tiers of throwing marks define the tapered lower body. The jar’s matte brown glaze, applied in a double layer visible at the base, is lustrous and exceptionally well preserved.
The Washington Oriental Ceramic Group (WOCG) was founded in 1985 by retired foreign service officers David Rehfuss and John Forbes, who had developed deep interests in Southeast Asian ceramics during their postings in the region. Early events of the WOCG centered on informal gatherings in private homes to share pots and potluck meals. In collaboration with ceramics curator Louise Cort, the Freer and Sackler became a regular setting for WOCG events that included talks in storage areas with visiting ceramic specialists and thematic viewings of collection ceramics. The Hauges and other members lent their prize works to Glorious Pots—A Millennium of Southeast Asian Trade, a WOCG exhibition at Towson State University that David Rehfuss organized in 2006. It is fitting that, through this gift, the name and story of the Washington Oriental Ceramic Group will appear permanently in our museum records.
Jar with four lugs
Northeast Thailand, Buriram province, Ban Kruat district, Ban Kruat kilns
Angkor period, 1177–1350
Stoneware with iron-brown glaze
H x Diam: 21.6 x 17.8 cm
Gift of the Washington Oriental Ceramic Group and its President David P. Rehfuss in honor of Curator of Ceramics Louise Allison Cort, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, S2018.58