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Fragment of underglaze cobalt-blue-painted wall tile

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    15th-16th century
  • Geography

    Red River Delta kilns, Hai Duong province, Vietnam
  • Material

    Stoneware with cobalt pigment under clear glaze
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 3 x 7.6 x 7 cm (1 3/16 x 3 x 2 3/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Shape: Shard consists of pieces of a curved, possibly round Vietnamese wall tile. The tile was probably part of a border segment. The foliated edge is modelled to mirror the underglaze lotus-petal decoration on the face of the tile. Length of the tile wall is 1.7 - 1.8 cm from the face of the tile to the base of the wall edge. The thickness of the tile face is 1.3 - 1.5 cm from the face to the back of the tile. Judging from potting marks on the back of the tile it appears to have been formed on a wheel, with the foliated edge having been carved after the tile was removed from the wheel.
    Clay: The light-gray clay body is extremely fine-grained but contains many air pockets, some of them quite large. There are very few inclusions.
    Glaze: The greenish cobalt decoration was painted on a milky white slip into which it suffused during firing. The slip and underglaze decoration were then covered with a clear glaze. The glaze and slip can be seen separately and clearly on the inside of the hollow tile.
    Decoration: Underglaze cobalt-blue painting of a lotus-petal band on the face of the tile. The cobalt pigment used to decorate this tile has a decidedly greenish tint.
    Marks: None.
  • Provenance

    To 1957
    Abu Ridho, Jakarta, Indonesia. [1]
    John A. Pope (1906-1982), Washington DC, gift of Abu Ridho, Jakarta, Indonesia. [2]
    From 1957
    Freer Gallery of Art, gift of John A. Pope, Washington DC [3]
    [1] See Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] See note 1. See also object file, Collections Management Office.
  • Collection

    Freer Study Collection
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Abu Ridho (born 1927)
    Dr. John Alexander Pope (1906-1982)
  • Origin

    Red River Delta kilns, Hai Duong province, Vietnam
  • Credit Line

    Gift of John A. Pope
  • Type

    Architectural Element
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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