Gourd-shaped bottle in the form of a bearded ascetic holding a lotus

Gourd-shaped bottle with head and arms of a bearded male worshipper holding a lotus bud (neck missing). Thinly thrown on fast potter’s wheel from coil added to flat disk, possibly with additional clay added as coil at upper edge of “body” to throw “head” and bottle neck. Base smooth, slightly concave. Egg-shaped lower lobe tapers upward to widest diameter at “shoulders.” “Head” formed as flattened hemisphere. Head and shoulder area broken and repaired with black tar-like substance.
Clay: fine-grained stoneware clay, light gray on surface in interior of bottle, light gray with minute black specks and larger patches of rust-brown on outer surface formerly glazed, red-orange where abraded on base. One large pebble imbedded in clay in interior near base, another on base.
Decoration: incised and applied.
Trimmed rounded edge of foot beneath wide bevel, the upper half of which was trimmed away in a broad cut, leaving a roughened surface visible in raking light and creating an undercut area beneath the incised upper edge of the bevel.
On the torso, navel represented by indentation and vertical indentation corresponding to “spine.” Thick arms and hands applied in relief, incised details of fingers (four incised lines creating fine “fingers”). Wide bracelet incised on each wrist. Right hand positioned above left, holding lotus bud (conical bud with incised cross-hatching representing petals, stem protruding below hands). Two deep horizontal lines incised around “neck.”
On the head, large ears applied in relief, incised details, with long pointed earrings resting on “shoulders.” Hair indicated by widely-spaced, parallel straight lines incised around back of head between ears, ending at “neck.” Facial features applied in relief: arching eyebrows with incised hatching; almond shaped eyes with incised horizontal lines appearing to indicate closed lids; long nose with impressed nostrils; closed lips upturned in smile; goatee with incised details of hair extending from lower lip onto chect beneath clasped hands.
Just above the eyebrowns, two incised horizontal lines formed a flattened flange at base of bottle neck, around which was applied a flattened coil with impressed diangonal lines. Only a fragment remains. Neck broken off in irregular fracture.
Glaze: iron glaze, ranging from translucent amber on upward-facing surfaces to opaque dark brown or black where running or pooled. Extensive glaze loss, especially on raised surfaces of front of figure, over almost all of back, and around entire foot below bevel. Surviving glaze is densely crackled, and glaze has broken off along crackles. Glaze thickly pooled in flange above base; one surviving patch and stains in bare clay suggest that glaze formerly ran down nearly to edge of base all around the bottle.

Historical period(s)
Angkor period, 1075-1430
Medium
Stoneware with iron glaze
Dimensions
H x Diam (Overall): 18.5 x 14.4 cm (7 5/16 x 5 11/16 in)
Geography
Cambodia or Northeast Thailand
Credit Line
Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1996.108
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Bottle

Keywords
Angkor period (802 - 1431), ascetic, brown and black glaze, Cambodia, Hauge collection, lotus, man, stoneware, Thailand, worship, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

From circa 1970-72 to 1996
Mr. and Mrs. Victor Hauge [1]

From 1996
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Osborne and Gratia Hauge in 1996 [2]

Notes:

[1] Object file. Most likely acquired from a dealer in Ayutthaya or Bangkok, circa 1970-1972.

[2] Ownership of collected objects sometimes changed between the Hauge families.

Previous Owner(s)

Mr. and Mrs. Osborne and Gratia Hauge (1914-2004) and (died 2000)

Description

Gourd-shaped bottle with head and arms of a bearded male worshipper holding a lotus bud (neck missing). Thinly thrown on fast potter's wheel from coil added to flat disk, possibly with additional clay added as coil at upper edge of "body" to throw "head" and bottle neck. Base smooth, slightly concave. Egg-shaped lower lobe tapers upward to widest diameter at "shoulders." "Head" formed as flattened hemisphere. Head and shoulder area broken and repaired with black tar-like substance.
Clay: fine-grained stoneware clay, light gray on surface in interior of bottle, light gray with minute black specks and larger patches of rust-brown on outer surface formerly glazed, red-orange where abraded on base. One large pebble imbedded in clay in interior near base, another on base.
Decoration: incised and applied.
Trimmed rounded edge of foot beneath wide bevel, the upper half of which was trimmed away in a broad cut, leaving a roughened surface visible in raking light and creating an undercut area beneath the incised upper edge of the bevel.
On the torso, navel represented by indentation and vertical indentation corresponding to "spine." Thick arms and hands applied in relief, incised details of fingers (four incised lines creating fine "fingers"). Wide bracelet incised on each wrist. Right hand positioned above left, holding lotus bud (conical bud with incised cross-hatching representing petals, stem protruding below hands). Two deep horizontal lines incised around "neck."
On the head, large ears applied in relief, incised details, with long pointed earrings resting on "shoulders." Hair indicated by widely-spaced, parallel straight lines incised around back of head between ears, ending at "neck." Facial features applied in relief: arching eyebrows with incised hatching; almond shaped eyes with incised horizontal lines appearing to indicate closed lids; long nose with impressed nostrils; closed lips upturned in smile; goatee with incised details of hair extending from lower lip onto chect beneath clasped hands.
Just above the eyebrowns, two incised horizontal lines formed a flattened flange at base of bottle neck, around which was applied a flattened coil with impressed diangonal lines. Only a fragment remains. Neck broken off in irregular fracture.
Glaze: iron glaze, ranging from translucent amber on upward-facing surfaces to opaque dark brown or black where running or pooled. Extensive glaze loss, especially on raised surfaces of front of figure, over almost all of back, and around entire foot below bevel. Surviving glaze is densely crackled, and glaze has broken off along crackles. Glaze thickly pooled in flange above base; one surviving patch and stains in bare clay suggest that glaze formerly ran down nearly to edge of base all around the bottle.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 208-211.
Collection Area(s)
Southeast Asian Art
Web Resources
Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. 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 Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.