Thai Si Satchanalai Stoneware Tukatha Figure
Thai Si Satchanalai Stoneware Tukatha Figure
Sukhothai Kingdom period or Ayutthaya period, mid. 16th century, Sukhothai province, Si Satchanalai, Pa Yang kilns, Thailand
Alluring Tukatha (tuton sia kaborn or tukata sia kaban) stoneware figure with crackled celadon glaze, showing young mother seated in the Thai position of honouring, with both feet pointing behind. The mother cradles a baby in its arms. Tukatha figurines were originally a toy for girls who will be mothers. These figurines helped children learn how to be a mother in the future. Maternity figurines were also used in ceremonies connected with rain and fertility. Sawankhalok/Si Satchanalai ceramic wares (called also Sangkhalok) are ancient Thai traditional ceramic ware specifically derived from Sukhothai Kingdom period (1238-1438). The royal cities of Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai in north-central Thailand were at the heart of one of the largest ceramic-producing centres in Southeast Asia during the 14th century. Sukhothai is known for it coarser clay and has many small black specks due to the high iron content of the clay. Sometimes, these inclusions can be brown, red or silvery. Like Sukhothai, Sawankhalok mainly created relatively simple shapes - jars, bottles, kendis, bowls and plates. Ceramic wares from the hundreds of kilns located along the Yom River in Si Satchanalai as well as from Sukhothai city were exported in vast quantities to Indonesia and the Philippines where demand was great. Sawankhalok ware was also exported to Japan and the Middle-East. The export of both Thai and Vietnamese ceramics experienced a surge when the Chinese imperial court placed a ban on foreign export during the Ming period (Ming Ban 1, 1371-1509), leaving a gap to be filled. However, the Si Satchanalai figurines are the artworks produced only at the Pa Yang kilns in the late period of production around the 16th century.
Small-sized figure is covered with green celadon glaze called "Kai Ka". Celadon wares were probably introduced to Thailand from China during the early 14th century. The Tukatha figurines are often found with their heads missing or later reattached, which led some researchers to hypothesise a sacrificial ritual. However, the frequency of missing heads may be structural weakness of the joint between head and body. Good condition. Age-related wear. Broken head later re-attached. Glazing defects and firing flaws. Beautiful patina. Size approx. 9,5cm x 4,9cm x 4,8cm.
Provenance: Finnish private collection
For a similar example see:
Tukatha figurine, Horniman Museum, Accession Number: 2.2.49/1e (https://www.horniman.ac.uk/object/2.2.49/1e/)
Figure, The British Museum, Accession Number: 2010,3007.8 (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/A_2010-3007-8)
Figurine, Asian Civilisations Museum, Accession Number: 1992-00816 (https://www.roots.gov.sg/Collection-Landing/listing/1002553)
References and further reading:
Thai Ceramic Art - The Three Religions, J.D. van Oenen & N. Guerin, Sun Tree Publishing, 2005, p. 262.
Ceramics of Seduction, Glazed Wares from Southeast Asia, Dawn Rooney, River Books Press Dist A C, 2013.
The Ceramic Wares of Siam, Charles Nelson Spinks, Bangkok Siam Society, 1978, pp. 86-88.
The ceramics of southeast Asia: Their dating and identification (2nd ed.), R.M. Brown, Singapore, Singapore: Oxford Univesity Press, 1988.
Last shipments from the Thai Sawankhalok Kilns, R.M. Brown, Art from Thailand, pp. 93-103. Mumbai, Marg Publications, 1999.
A Field Guide to Glazed Thai Ceramics, Dawn F. Rooney, Asian Perspectives, Vol 28. No 2, pp. 125-144, University of Hawai'i Press, 1988-89.
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