This tea bowl is executed in a pottery ware glaze of popular YUTEKI-TENMOKU-CHAWAN - the word Yuteki translates as Drop of Oil. The piece measures 5 3/8" diameter at the top by 2 5/8" high at the rim by 1 3/8" diameter at the shallow foot base. We are not positive of the date but believe it to date from the late Qing dynasty to early Republic of China - circa 1890s-1930s. However it could date as recently as the 1970s. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or restorations - just the normal roughness on the base from usage. The tea bowl is not signed nor does it come with a tomobako.
Footnote: Tenmoku (also spelled "temmoku" and "temoku") is a dark glaze with a surface that resembles oilspotting. It is made of feldspar, limestone, and iron oxide. The more quickly a piece is cooled, the blacker the glaze will be. Tenmoku takes its name from the 天目 (Mandarin: tiān mù; Japanese: ten moku; English: Heaven's Eye) mountain temple in China where iron-glazed bowls were used for tea.
Important centers of black ware production operated in both north and south China during Sung. The Chien kilns in Fukien province were famous for lustrous black wares decorated with a variety of iron rich compounds to create their fabled "hare's-fur," "partridge-feather," and "oil-spot" glazes. Several centers in north China, many of them Tz'u-chou kilns in Honan and Shansi, produced rich black wares enhanced with iron russet splashes "oil-spot" effects and "cut-glaze" designs.