Saturday, October 17, 2009

Momoyama Period Ewer for Tea Ceremony

7. Japan, Momoyama period (1568–1615), early 17th century. Ewer for Use in Tea Ceremony, Shino-Oribe ware with iron decoration.
This beautiful ewer was made as a wine server for the "kaiseki," or the meal that precedes the tea ceremony. With its bold contour and charmingly painted floral and textile patterns, it is one of the most attractive and rare examples of a type of ware known as Shino-Oribe. The body of refined clay is covered with a white feldspathic glaze that fired a purplish pink where it pooled and interacted with the iron. Shino ware, the first decorated white ware in Japan, was developed in the sixteenth century in Mino, Gifu Prefecture. This piece is a fascinating example of the transformation of Mino ceramics in accordance with the taste of the tea master Furuta Oribe (1544–1615) and the technical changes brought about by the introduction, in the early seventeenth century, of a more advanced kiln type, the chambered climbing kiln modeled on those built by Korean craftsmen at Karatsu in Kyushu. The earliest and most important new kiln was the one at Motoyashiki, in Mino, where utensils for the tea masters of Kyoto were produced to order. At Motoyashiki the green-glazed decorated wares known as Oribe ware were produced, but excavations reveal that Shino wares continued to be made there in the early period. Inevitably prevailing taste and new technology brought forth the changes in Shino ware that are reflected in the more refined form and inventive decoration of this vessel

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