Jarlet, stoneware, Sisatchanelai kilns, Sawankhalok, Thailand, 14th-15th century
This Sawankhalok jarlet is a good example in thersm fo its figure and glaze. It is decorated with black underglazed paint with stylised flower scroll design.
This piece is one of good examples of Sawankhalok jarlet produced in Sawankhalok kilns in Thailand during the fourteenth to fiftheenth centuries. There are two old kiln centres at the kingdom of Sukhothai. Forty-nine kilns have been surveyed at the centre outside the walls of the city of Sukhothai, and thier wares are known as 'Sukhothai'. The other, located about 60 kilometres north at Sri Sachanalai, consists of three groups of kilns along the banks of the Menam Yom: twenty at Pa Yang, one kilometre north of the city walls; five at Tukatha, 2 kilometres north; and 120 at Ban Ko Noi, 5 kilometres north. Sherd debris found at all these three sites is substantially similar and the wares are known collectively as 'Sawankhalok' after the current name of the district.
This Sawankhalok ware is a part of Mal Maloney's ceramic collection which comprises classic early Southeast Asian and Chinese ceramics including ceramics from the Sawankalok and Sukhothai kilns in Thailand, Annamese wares from Vietnam and Swatow and Ming Dynasty wares from China. All ceramic wares in this collection were collected in Jakarta betweeen 1968 and 1976. The collection is a good representation of trade wares in Southeast Asia and reflects the development of the ceramic industry and trade within the Asian regions during the thirteenth century and seventeenth century. This group of ceramic ware was probably exported to Indonesia via a sea trade route when Thailand became deeply involved in the long-distance ceramic trade.
Curator, Asian Arts & Design
The production of Sawankalok ware was thoughts to be initiated by Chinese potters, brought to the Kingdom of Sukhothai, so Thai tradition holds, by King Rama Khamheng on his return from a mission to the Yuan Court at Peking.
Sawankhalok ware has been the subject of the most thorough and detailed research of any kiln group in Mainland Southeast Asia. The surface evidence of stoneware ceramic kilns and their products in the villages of Ban Ko Noi and Ban Pa Yang, along the Yom River north of the old city of Si Satchanalia in Sukhothai province, had been well known for a century.
The collection was purchased from trade people known as 'Tukang' in Jakarta, Indonesia by the donor, Mal Maloney, Sydney.
Mal Maloney says 'All the ceramics were acquired in Jakarta during the time I was working there during the period of 1968 -1976. We developed an interest in these items because our Chief geologist, Dean Frasche, was a college and a well known authority on SEA ceramics and he was always identifying pieces and explaining their origin and age. All pieces were bought over many years from 'Tukangs' or tradesmen who brought their wares to our house and offered them for sale. All were the subject of the usual Asian bargaining process, sometimes for as long as 20 minutes per piece!"