An Angkor Khmer period stoneware jar - 13th century
A large stoneware jar from the Ankor region of the Khmer empire, nowadays Cambodia.
The Khmer Empire was a Hindu-Buddhist empire in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdoms of Funan and Chenla, at times ruled over and vassalised most of mainland Southeast Asia and parts of Southern China, stretching from the tip of the Indo-Chinese Peninsula northwards to modern Yunnan province, China and from Vietnam westwards to Myanmar.
It’s greatest legacy is Angkor, in present-day Cambodia, which was the site of the capital city during the empire’s zenith. The majestic monuments of Angkor, such as the Angkor Wat temple complex and Bayon, bear testimony to the Khmer Empire’s immense power and wealth, impressive art and culture, architectural technique, aesthetics achievements and the variety of belief systems that it patronised over time. Satellite imaging has revealed that Angkor, during its peak in the 11th to 13th centuries, was the largest pre-industrial urban centre in the world.
During this period the most common type of pottery made was dark glazed stoneware such as this example. Often incised with a modest and symmetric motif and mostly dated between the 12th and 14th century.
This quite large jar has an owl figure on top and an animal which is hard to determine, but most likely a mouse is situated on the front of the jar. These figures had the function of providing grip when handling.
Condition: Excellent, as found condition, not cleaned nor restored.
Provenance: French art collection.
Comparable example: Honolulu Museum of Art accession 6712.1
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