Fragment of underglaze cobalt-blue-painted wall tile

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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 clear glaze
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 3.9 x 7.6 x 7 cm (1 9/16 x 3 x 2 3/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Shape: Fragment of a hollow-back, Vietnamese wall tile. The roughly bevelled side wall of the tile ranges in thickness from 2.2 cm near the face to 1.3 cm at the base. The height of the wall is 4.1 cm from face to base. The tile is approximately 1.0 cm thick from face to hollowed-out back.
    Clay: The body consists of a very fine clay which ranges in color from off-white to light gray (near the face of the tile) and exhibits many small air pockets but virtually no inclusions.
    Glaze: A thin transparent glaze covers the tile face and walls. It is not clear whether there is a slip under the cobalt-blue underglaze
    but this appears to be the case. The thin, clear glaze exhibits a dense crackling.
    Decoration: Decoration consists of underglaze cobalt-blue painting of flowers and leaves connected by a thin vine. The decoration is painted freely in the Chinese style under a transparent glaze on top of the tile. The foliate scroll and parts of a flower are painted in a typically Annamese interpretation with a band of light color within an outline and solid color inside the petals and center of the single, presumably chrysanthemum, blossom. The cobalt decoration is very dark blue, especially where the painter applied the pigment thickly and it has burned through the thin glaze.
    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.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring