The iconography of this rare covered jar may refer to a meditating sage, or 'rishi', one of the wandering ascetics associated with Hinduism and distinguished by their beards. The form may be that of a mountain, abstracted and translated into the Khmer ceramic idiom. Since mountains were considered the abode of the gods and a place of retreat, they were favourite haunts of ascetics. It is unclear whether this vessel had a specific function: it may be a funerary urn or a holy water jar, or something for everyday use. Although one of the finest examples of this type of Khmer jar, it is still covered in the technically flawed but characteristic smooth, brown glaze that easily flakes.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.317.
'South-East Asian Art', pg. 83-96., Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales 1990, 1990, 91 (illus.).
Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Editor), Jan Meek (Australia) (Editor), Portrait of a Gallery, Sydney, 1984, 108 (colour illus.).
Ewen McDonald (Australia) (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, Sydney, 1994, 180 (colour illus.).
'New Dimensions', by Jackie Menzies, pg. 54-63., Arts of Asia Nov 2003-Dec 2003, Nov 2003-Dec 2003, 58 (colour illus.). no.10
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales 2003, 2003, 317 (colour illus.).