- Provenance research underway.
Buff clay. Underglaze iron painted decoration of pine-covered mountains and latticework fences, on alternating sides. Opaque white feldspathic glaze, unevenly applied; granular texture, running in drops. Three medium-sized round spur marks on round, recessed base inside foot. Character ichi (one) written in ink on base.
Character ichi (one) written in ink on base. This is because the cup would have been made as one of a set of five or more, intended for use in serving the accompaniment to soup and rice on a diner's individual tray.
Thick, pitted, and white, the glaze known as Shino, made with feldspar, was an unprecedented departure from earlier iron and ash glazes. It was developed by potters working at kilns with Mino province, the modern Gifu prefecture. Mino potters used Shino glaze on vessels made of pale, rough-textured clay. The soft, granular underfired glaze on this cup is typical of early Shino ware. By applying the light-colored glaze over designs painted with iron pigment or scratched into overall coating of iron slip (liquid clay), they created Japan's first pictorially decorated ceramics. Depending on the thickness of the glaze and conditions of firing, the iron might appear red, brown, gray, or even blue. A reddish "blush" sometimes developed on the vessel edges where the Shino glaze was thin.
This individual serving cup was made as part of a set of tableware. Later, after the set was dispersed, a subsequent owner converted the single cup to use as an ornamental "alternative tea container" for display in the tea room by providing it with a hinged ivory lid.
- Published References
- Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 47.
- Hanna Szczepanowska. Conservationof Cultural Heritage: Key Principles and Approaches. .
- Louise Allison Cort. Seto and Mino Ceramics. Washington and Honolulu, 1992. cat. 24, p. 94.
- Collection Area(s)
- Japanese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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