This is a very rare small pottery figure from the Sawankhalok potters of the 14th-16th century. It depicts a seated man holding a chicken in his lap. The top 60% of the piece is glazed in a muted celadon - the lower 40 % part and the base are unglazed.
The best known of all traditional Thai ceramics are those from Sukhothai and Sawankhalok. Sukhothai wares were generally treated with a creamy white slip and decorated in black with an opaque or greenish glaze. The most famous Sukhothai kiln is the Si Satchanalai. Examples of the wares can be found in many leading museums of the world. Sawanakhalok products tend to be more finely made than the Sukhothai ones. These products are incised and often include animal shapes. Some of the original examples can be found in many private collections and museums today.
The figure measures 4" high - at the base the widest part is 2 1/8" - the width of the figure's body is 2" - and the figure is 1 1/4" deep. Sometime in the past 500 years there were two repairs. First - the head was obviously broken off and re-attached. The celadon glaze used to cover the break is slightly darker than the original muted celadon. Second - the figure's left arm was broken off just below the shoulder and a short distance above the left wrist. The repair was superbly done - we did not even notice the repair until we were taking the closeup photos of the figure. Finally, there is a kiln flaw on the back of the head - just below the top knot at the top of the head, a small piece of pottery stuck to this area in the kiln and this resulted in a tiny chip. This is clearly a kiln fault and not a later repair.
Photo Number 12 is an example of a nearly identical figure found in a museum collection at St. Louis University.