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This piece features a warm golden glaze with several patches of lighter pigmentation. The inside of the bowl is especially inviting and shows a magnificent patina developed over many decades of use and what appears to be a partly faded stencil of a pinecone. The foot is well-shaped, well-grounded, and clearly displays the unglazed rich clay. The Chinese characters on the lid of the box read 古瀬戸 (ko-Seto) 大茶碗 (oo-jawan), indicating it is an large tea bowl from old Seto (Muromachi - early Edo).
In the 12th century, a pottery tradition was established in Seto with the aim of reproducing fine Chinese porcelain and tenmoku-style chawan—which were hard to come by in Japan at the time. Later, during the Muromachi period, Seto potters established kilns in Mino thus starting the period known as Ko-seto, or “old seto.” These pieces were distinctive as they were produced in small batches and with great care. Later in Edo, the large-kiln style of production or “ogama” was introduced ushering in an era of mass production of glazed pottery and thus ending the era of ko-Seto production.
The label on the side of the box reads 黄瀬戸 (ki-Seto), indicating that the bowl is done in the style of yellow Seto. Ki-Seto emerged in the 16th century and is one of the 4 Mino styles closely associated with tea ceremony.
The piece is quite large with a diameter of 6.7 inches (17.5 cm) and standing 3.5 inches tall (8.7 cm). It is in very good condition with no visible cracks or chips and comes in its own wooden box.