VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Seated figure
2004-00904
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The piece is a very unusual example of figurative ceramics made for the Indonesian market. It is expressively modelled and has finely painted features in various shades of cobalt blue glaze. The grotesque features and attributes such as the skirt wrap (kain panjang) and keris worn at the back of the waist, likely refer to a servant-clown character associated with the Javanese court. Such characters, known as Panakawan, feature prominently in the performing arts of Java.

History of the Object
This kneeling figure is a unique example of wares made in North Vietnam during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was reportedly retrieved from the Hoi An cargo - a large cargo of 150,000 export wares which was salvaged from a 15th century shipwreck in and auctioned in 2000. Unique pieces such as this indicate that high quality wares were made for export at this time.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Ceramic 
Measurements
H22.7 x W18.5 x D17.5 cm. 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
North Vietnam 
Geography
Vietnam 
Time period
AD 14th century ~ AD 16th century 
Creation date
14th Century - 16th Century; 450-700 years ago 
Function
Unknown 
Acquisition
Donated in 2004. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Heidi Tan 
Owner
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Museum
Asian Civilisations Museum 
Credit line
Gift of Rosalind Shellim and Joe Grimberg 

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