Mino ware tea bowl with design of gate and seedling pines

Buff clay. Hand-carved foot. Decoration of X-shaped gate and pine seedlings painted with underglaze iron slip; irregular poured shaped of iron slip. Thin feldspathic glaze applied by uneven ladling over walls and base, with portions of decorated surface left unglazed. Gold lacquer repairs.

Historical period(s)
Momoyama period, 1594-1607
Medium
Stoneware with iron pigment poured and painted under feldspathic glaze; gold lacquer repairs
Style
Mino ware, Gray Shino type
Dimensions
H x Diam: 9 x 14.5 cm (3 9/16 x 5 11/16 in)
Geography
Japan, Gifu prefecture, Toki city, Kujiri village, Motoyashiki Higashi kilns
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1902.234
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Tea bowl

Keywords
gate, Japan, lacquer repair, Mino ware, Shino type, Momoyama period (1573 - 1615), pine tree, stoneware, tea
Provenance

To 1902
Yamanaka & Company, to 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1902 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1206, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[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
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1917 - 1965

Description

Buff clay. Hand-carved foot. Decoration of X-shaped gate and pine seedlings painted with underglaze iron slip; irregular poured shaped of iron slip. Thin feldspathic glaze applied by uneven ladling over walls and base, with portions of decorated surface left unglazed. Gold lacquer repairs.

Label

This wide cylindrical shape resting on a low foot is typical of Mino ware tea bowls of the Momoyama period executed in the style known as Shino.  In form and decoration, the bowl exemplifies contrasting qualities that were prized in tea bowls:  symmetry and irregularity, intention and accident.  The potter distorted the wheel-thrown shape by incising grooves.  To decorate the bowl, he ladled iron pigment over the surface to create a random pattern, then filled in the spaces with painted motifs of pine seedlings and a bamboo gate.

Published References
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 141.
  • Louise Allison Cort. Japanese Tea Culture: Art, History, and Practice. London and New York. fig. 3.14.
  • Louise Allison Cort. Seto and Mino Ceramics. Washington and Honolulu, 1992. cat. 28, p. 27.
  • Martin P. Amt, Rob Barnard. In Praise of Feet. vol. 18, no. 2 Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, June 1990. p. 30.
  • Louise Allison Cort, Bert Winther-Tamaki, Bruce Altshuler, Niimi Ryu. Isamu Noguchi and Modern Japanese Ceramics: A Close Embrace of the Earth. Washington and Berkeley. p. 110, fig. 3.6.
  • Impressions: The Journal of the Japanese Art Society of America. no. 39 Lexington, Massachusetts, 2018. p. 150, p. 158, fig. 26, fig. 39.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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