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This lovely plum patterned chawan (umebachi) is done in a classic style known as e-Gorai (“e” meaning picture and “Gorai” meaning Korean). This classification is somewhat of a misnomer as the style is said to have first developed at China’s Cizhou kilns in early Ming—only later being widely copied and popularized in Korea. e-Goriai wares first made an appearance in Japan by way of Korea at the end of the 16th century and have been highly appreciated among tea enthusiasts to this day. The decorative plum blossoms on this piece are a classic motif typically applied using a dark iron glaze on a white or light-brown background.
The creator of this work, Miura Chikusen (1854 - 1915) was an exceptionally skilled Meiji potter who specialized in Kiyomizu-yaki and Kyo-yaki high-quality porcelains used in sencha. From the age of 13 he apprenticed under Takahashi Dohachi III and later in 1883 at the age of 29, established his own kiln in the illustrious Gojo-zaka pottery district of Kyoto. A multi-talented artist, Chikusen was also an accomplished painter, poet, and calligraphist who traveled in literati circles. His ceramics painting is unmatched, typically employing brilliant cobalt blues and soft vermilions to emulate Ming and European motifs.
In fine condition, this piece is 6 inches in diameter (15.1 cm) and stands just over 2 inches tall (5.3 cm). It bears the artist’s signature on the base of the unglazed kodai and comes with its original signed and stamped certification box.