Earthenware with underglaze iron-brown decoration (Kalong ware)
H. 2 in. (5.1 cm); Diam. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
Gift of Betty and John R. Menke, 1992
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 250
Ceramics were produced in some number in the kingdom of Lan Na centered in northern Thailand. More than 200 kilns have been found in the vicinity of Kalong to the east of the Mae Lo River, situated halfway between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. Clay in the area is characterized by a high percentage of kaolin producing thinly potted, elegant off-white or buff bodies. Kalong wares are characterized by their freely painted underglaze designs in iron brown. These are often floral or other images drawn from the natural world. The lively decoration on this dish is sometimes termed "black crow," in reference to its abstract resemblance to birds in flight. The Kalong kilns also produced a limited number of pieces with green or celadon glazes.