eMuseum Southeast Asia Ceramics


Thai ceramics were among the first Southeast Asian wares to be seriously studied, starting with WA Graham’s 1922 article “Pottery in Siam” in the Journal of the Siam Society. The field only gained momentum in the 1960s following Charles Nelson Spinks’ important contributions on Tai pottery and in the 1970s from the discovery of the Prasat Ban Phluang temple site.

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The first kilns were first discovered in 1950 by locals who were widening the old canal near Wat Chedi Sao. There are now known to be several clusters of brick kilns in the ricefields surrounding the wat. They produced dark-bodied bottles and jars, such as the examples shown below, of rough manufacture with thick, dribbly black or more thinly applied brown glazes. Figurines of humped bulls were also found, but it is not known what they were used for. The clay body is rough-grained and dark, mottled brownish or reddish brown. (Brown 1988: 90)

Two jars, both dark-bodied and black-glazed, one only a fragment with cup-like mouth (D: 16.5 cm); the other with two think pinched handles (H: 13.8 cm).
Collected at the Lampang kiln site. Ceramics Museum, Chiangmai University.
(Photo from Brown 1988: pl. XLV c)
Drawings of black-glazed Lampang wares kept at Wat Chedi Sao, Lampang
(Photo from: Brown 1988: fig. 63)
From left: Jar with dark greyish body and black glaze with white speckles from air bubbles (H: 21 cm); ewer with thick dribbly black glaze and a dark brownish-grey body fired to reddish brown on the flat base (H: 20.4 cm); jar with rough brownish grey body and traces of black glaze (H: 31 cm)
Wat Chedi Sao, Lampang
(Photo from: Brown 1988: pl. 57 a-c)
Figurine, modelled in the shape of a bull, with brownish-grey clay body and eroded black glaze
H: 12 cm
Ceramics Museum, Chiangmai University
(Photo from: Brown 1988: pl. 57 d)
Source: Brown 1988