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Oribe is a visual style named after the late-16th-century tea master Furuta Oribe (1544-1615). Kuro Oribe (as pictured here) with their jet-black glazes and feldspar ornamentation tend toward the minimalistic, abstract; and, some would say, Zen-like aesthetic.
Typical of Mino pieces of the time, this Oribe chawan is made of coarse, unrefined clay and covered in a dark iron-glaze which turns a lustrous black color when removed from the kiln (still glowing red) and allowed to cool slowly. The distorted and exaggerated “kutsugata” shape is also a very distinctive feature which is in stark contrast to many other potting traditions in Japan which tend towards a more regular and orthodox form.
In fine condition, this piece is 5.3 inches in diameter (13.4 cm) and stands 4.4 inches tall (11.1 cm). It is furnished with a period box, a hand-made red silk wrapping cloth, and a yellow cloth for cleaning and polishing. An especially beautiful and naturalistic motif, the front window of the bowl appears to be the silhouette of a Japanese Iris (shoubu) and the back window on the inside of the bowl appears to be Japanese Silver Grass (susuki).