We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.



circa 250 BCE


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    An Giang Vietnam
    Cultural origin
    probably An Giang Province
    Oc Eo culture circa 200 - 300 BCE → Vietnam
    circa 250 BCE
    Media category
    Materials used
    3.9 x 10.0 cm (irreg.)
    Gift of Pamela Gutman 2006
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    The ancient Oc Eo of the Mekong Valley in Southern Vietnam was a culture with an extensive canal system, buildings with brick foundations, and trade relations with other ancient civilisations including Rome, India and China. In documents written around the 3rd century by agents of the Chinese Emperor Wu, Oc Eo is described as having walled palaces and a sophisticated system of taxation. Pottery is among the various Oc Eo objects discovered since 1944, when the French archaeologist Louis Malleret (1901–70) began excavations in the region. Round-bottomed bowls such as this were described by Malleret as creuset or crucible. The stamped grooves marking the base suggest the pot was strong enough to withstand heating and may have been used for cooking or for smelting materials such as glass. The pots were made of clay from local sources, mixed with various tempers including sand, shells and plant residue.

  • Provenance

    Pamela Gutman, 1970s-2006, Paddington/Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, received from an unidentified person recently arrived from Vietnam. Donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Jun 2006.

    Private Collection, 1970s, Vietnam