Rare Japanese 17th. Cent. Metal Covered Tea Bowl. Edo
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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Tea Articles: Pre 1700: item # 909335
Please refer to our stock # b5052 when inquiring.
Brian Page Antiques
Tel: 01273 622152
A Rare & Interesting Japanese Tea Bowl. 17th. Century. Edo Period.
Diam. 3 3/8 ins. (8.5 cms) This remarkable and unusual bowl is very similar to an example in the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen (see photos). Their bowl features in "Japanese Export Lacquers of the 17th. Century" by Martha Boyer (Copenhagen 1959) Plate 53. and was lent to the Royal Academy where it features in their "The Great Japan Exhibition. Art of the Edo Period" in 1981. No. 157 in the catalogue. The two bowls are clearly closely related, both have a gilded copper liner and are the same size. The difference is that Copenhagen bowl has a carved lacquered wood exterior and ours has a thin patinated copper exterior which has been formed from one piece of copper, including the foot. According to the Great Japan Exhibition catalogue the exterior "drip" motif is simulating the glaze on a Raku tea bowl. As the design on our bowl is similar it seems likely that the patinated copper is intended to also mimic a pottery tea bowl. It also seems likely that the substrate of our bowl is wood although the all-enveloping metal casing makes it difficult to be sure. Without doubt it is too light to be metal.
By the time the bowl had got to the Great Japan Exhibition it had been associated with a well-known travelling tea making set in Copenhagen Museum, a connection not made in Ms. Boyer's book. According to the RA catalogue the Copenhagen bowl is illustrated in Simon Paulli's "Commentarius be abusu tabaci...et herbae thee" and that it was known in Europe before 1665.
The bowl is in very good condition with the expected degree of wear and no repairs. It comes with an old brocade bag, the top of which is missing. The inside of the bag has written in ink the name Hatadani, the significance of which is not known. When we purchased the bowl it was said to have been found in a Buddhist temple during renovations but this cannot be substantiated.
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