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Martaban Jar, Burma, 17thC

Martaban Jar, Burma, 17thC


One of the most beautifully proportioned examples of a Martaban Pot, in essentially museum perfect condition. Richly glazed in browns and yellows which have developed a lovely patina. It is heavily-potted, large, short-necked, wide-shouldered, and tapers to a small flat foot. The top two thirds are decorated in a brown glaze with thin, horizontal and vertical bands of yellow bosses. The bottom third has been left un-glazed. The shoulder has four small, equidistant handles. Used to strap the jar for carrying and to secure it with raffia when it was being transported by shop. The Mon people of Lower Burma established states in Pegu and Martaban. In Martaban, they established large pottery kilns to produce storage vessels such as this example which were used across Southeast Asia and even India and the Middle East to transport commodities such as dried fish, oil, grains, dried chills and dried mango. When not used for transporting goods, the jars were then re-purposed locally as storage jars often for rice or drinking water. A very similar jar is in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia (see Bennett & Kelty, 2014, p. 278). Related jars are illustrated in Brown (2009. p. 49) and Valdes (1992)., 2014, p. 278). Related jars are illustrated in Brown (2009. p. 49) and Valdes (1992).


The jar here is in superb condition, slight 'finger repair' on rim.



Bennett, J., & R. Kelty, Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2014.

Brown, R.,

Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum, Bangkok University, Bangkok University Press, 2009.

Fraser-Lu, S.,

Burmese Crafts: Past and Present, Oxford University Press, 1994.

Valdes, C., ‘martaban jars found in the Philippines’, in

Arts of Asia, September-October 1992.


Estate of late Diplomat/Thailand/1970


H 22.5cm W 23cm Opening 27cm

H 57in W 59in Opening 10.5in


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