By the 1st century, the Vietnamese were aware of the glazing process when Chinese craftsmen followed Chinese soldiers and administrators to form new settlements in the region of modern Hanoi. Vietnamese wares nevertheless, closely resembled Chinese forms.
After the fall of the Han dynasty in the early 3rd century, the early Vietnamese ceramic tradition seems to have come to an end. A renaissance of sorts occurred in the period of the Ly dynasty (1009-1225). Vietnamese ceramics received a major impetus at the end of the 14th century when the Ming dynasty severely restricted exports.
Go-Sanh, literally “pottery mound”, is located in the Binh Dinh province of central Vietnam. In pre-modern times this was the realm of the Cham people, a Malayo-Polynesian speaking group who established a number of important kingdoms, and were feared adversaries of the Khmer and Vietnamese before they were gradually subdued in the 15th century.
The ceramics from Go-Sanh can be divided into three categories. The first consists of greenish or bluish-grey glazed saucers with unglazed stacking rings on their interior bottoms, such as this example below. The greyish clay on the unglazed interior, which appears on these types of wares as well as celadons, also helps identify this piece as belonging to this kiln site.
NUS Museum S1968-0028-001-0
H: 4.4 cm, D: 16.6 cm
Celadon dishes make up the second category and have a similar type of clay as the above, visible on the unglazed foot of this beaker-shaped bowl. The celadon glaze has been eroded over time, but some of the colour is still visible where the glaze has pooled on the uneven surface.
|15th C (or earlier)
H: 7.2 cm; D: 11.8 cm
NUS Museum S1966-0007-001-0