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Natsume in colorful “dokuraku” (Chinese toy top motif)

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1960: Item # 1189053

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Natsume in colorful “dokuraku” (Chinese toy top motif)

This colorful and wonderfully tactile container is a very high quality Japanese lacquered tea caddy (or natsume) rendered in the colorful pattern known as “dokuraku” or ‘toy top.’ The wooden body has been very finely turned resulting in a delicate lidded vessel with gently curved sides tapering to a narrow, recessed base. The exterior is decorated with multi-colored lacquers which were painstakingly applied to the raised bands between the concentric grooves, while the interior is coated with black lacquer, traditional for Natsume, or chaki used for matcha or powdered green tea. The original dokuraku were Chinese toy tops manufactured during the Ming dynasty which were especially popular during New Year’s celebrations. The pattern was adapted in Japan, originally for small round lacquer incense containers known as ‘kogo’ which were also associated with the tea ceremony. (At least one ceramic kogo in the dokuraku pattern is attributed to Ogata Kenzan.) Dimensions. Height: 5.5cm (2-1/8”); diameter: 7.5cm (2-7/8”). Weight: 50 grams (1.7 ozs.). Copyright (c) 2013 by Robert McCaffrey for Ruyi Studio San Francisco. All Rights Reserved.

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