Jar for drinking water

Artist: Thongrochana Boonpoog (1832-1913)
Historical period(s)
Bangkok period, ca. 1882
Ko Kret ware
H x Diam (assembled): 71.8 x 37 cm (28 1/4 x 14 9/16 in)
Thailand, Chao Phraya River network, Nonthaburi province, Pakret district, Ko Kret village, Ko Kret kilns
Credit Line
Gift of Pisarn Boonpoog
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


Bangkok period (1782 - ), earthenware, Ko Kret ware, stupa, Thailand, unglazed, water, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

This jar was donated to the Sackler Gallery by Mr. Pisarn Boonpoog.  Mr. Boonpoog is a member of a pottery-making family on the island of Ko Kret, on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River north of Bangkok.  The potters of Ko Kret are ethnic Mon and came to Ko Kret at the invitation of King Taksin (r. 1767-1782) after the Mon capital was overrun by the Burmese.

King Taksin granted plots of land to Mon all along the Chao Phraya from Ayutthaya to Bangkok; the Mon established a monopoly on the production and distribution (through a system of river boats also operated by Mon) of earthenware pottery in the region.  Early twentieth century reports on ceramics in Thailand mention the ubiquitous red earthenware jars for collecting and storing rainwater.  Ko Kret is the last of those communities to continue making pottery, and it supplies most of the flower pots, kitchen mortars, and cooking pots used in Bangkok.

This jar was made by Mr. Pisarn's great-grandfather, Thongrochana Boonpoog (1832-1913) when he was around 50 years old (i.e., ca. 1882).  It was presented to Wat Paramai Yutikawat, a royal monastery on Ko Kret founded by King Rama V.  The jar was presented to a particular monk at the monastery.  After the monk died, the jar was returned to the family.

Published References
  • Louise Allison Cort, George Williams, David P. Rehfuss. Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia. Washington. .
  • Saiphon Sarabutra. A New Life for the Mon of Koh Kret. vol 1, no. 99, ca. 1994. section C.
  • R. Halliday. The Talaings., 1st ed. Ragoon. .
  • Kathleen I. Matics. Potters of Kret Island., October 1993. .
  • J. Schmitt. Les Mones. vol. 7, no. 11. .
  • Jerrilynn C. Polissar. A Potter in Thailand., October 1975. .
  • Thai Pottery and Ceramics: Collected Articles from the Journal of the Siam Society, 1922-1980., 1st ed. Bangkok. .
  • Brian L. Foster. Ethnicity and Economy: The Case of the Mons in Thailand. Ann Arbor. .
  • Brian L. Foster. Commerce and Ethnic Differences: The Case of the Mons in Thailand. Papers in International Studies, Southeast Asia Series, no. 59 Athens, Ohio, 1982. .
  • Anthony Windsor. The Potters of Koh Kred. vol. 20, July 1991. .
  • W.A. Graham. Thai pottery and ceramics: collected articles from the Journal of the Siam Society, 1922-1980. Bangkok. pp. 11-37.
  • Pisarn Boonpook. Nonthaburi Earthenware. Nonthaburi, Thailand. p. 109, cover.
Collection Area(s)
Southeast Asian Art
Web Resources
Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
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