Arita ware tea bowl

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1660-1680
Stoneware with white slip and cobalt decoration under greenish transparent glaze
Arita ware, totai sometsuke type
H x Diam: 8.5 × 13.1 cm (3 3/8 × 5 3/16 in)
Japan, Saga prefecture, Arita, possibly Chokichidani kiln
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl

Arita ware, Edo period (1615 - 1868), flower, Japan, stoneware, tea

To 1901
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1901 [1]

From 1901 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1901 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]


[1] See Pottery List, L. 1063, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Bunkio Matsuki (C.L. Freer source) 1867-1940


This bowl is a rare type of stoneware tea ceramic made at the Arita kilns, better known for porcelain tableware. The bowl approximates porcelain whiteness using Korean-style brushed white clay solution (slip) and uses Chinese-style cobalt-blue decoration. The thin form also shows the impact of the porcelain aesthetic. Although Freer did not care for porcelain, he was attracted to the subtle coloration of this bowl, which he praised as "fine."

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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