The northern Thai kilns of Kalon lie in the valley of Vieng Papao to the west of Chiang Mai. Kalong supplied pots to the cities of Lanna the great northern kingdom of Thailand whose history and heritage has been overshadowed by that of the Sukhothai kingdom in central Thailand.
Because of its remoteness until recently, few people have visited Kalong. Little has been written about Kalong and few of the wares have been illustrated. Yet John Shaw noted Thai ceramic authority, writes that Kalong produced black and white wares of extraordinary virtuosity and beauty and in my opinion these were the finest wares ever made in Thailand". ('Northern Thai Ceramics', pviii).
In 1984 a major archaeological find was made at Tak near the Burmese border. Here were found numerous burial sites crammed with Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai ceramics. Amongst the Thai ceramics were perfect examples of Lanna ware. The markets in Bangkok were flooded with these pieces and quickly bought up by collectors and dealers. Today in Bangkok most Kalong pieces are faked and until another such burial site is found, Kalong pieces will remain rare.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 1989.
Jane Carnegie and Chok-Dee TENG, The Jane Carnegie Collection, Melbourne, 1988, 17 (illus.). lot 94
Jackie Menzies and Edmund Capon, Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales 1990, 'South-East Asian Art', pg. 83-96, Domain, 1990, 94 (illus.).
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales 2003, Domain, 2003, 331 (colour illus.).