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Fragment of underglaze cobalt-blue-painted wall tile

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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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: 3.8 x 7.6 x 6.5 cm (1 1/2 x 3 x 2 9/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Shape: Corner fragment of a hollow-back, mold-formed Vietnamese wall tile. The tile appears originally to have been something other than square or rectangular in shape. The body of the tile was hollow. The edge walls are 3.8 cm wide from the face of the tile to the base of the edge. The face of the tile is approximately 1.3 cm thick from front to hollowed-out back.
    Clay: The body consists of an extremely fine, light-gray clay which has the consistency and color of glazing putty. The fine gray clay of the tile body incorporates many air pockets, some of them quite large. There are few inclusions.
    Glaze: A milky white slip onto which the cobalt blue decoration was painted is covered by a thin, clear glaze.
    Decoration: The underglaze cobalt-blue floral decoration is painted in outline and wash technique. Where the cobalt was applied thickly it has burned through the thin glaze. The floral decoration consists of a curling vine with off-shooting leaves and blossoms. The tile is outlined at the edge by 2-3 straight border lines.
    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 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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