This Satsuma ware tea caddy is made in the shape of a lacquer natsume tea caddy for use in the tea ceremony as a container for powdered green tea. This shape is given this name because it resembles a natsume plum. It is glazed overall with a finely crackled clear glaze showing the buff-colored clay body beneath. Overglaze enamels decorate the top and sides with open and closed fan designs. The interiors of both the lid and container are glazed as is also the base. The base is slightly recessed and a narrow portion of the foot is unglazed exposing the clay body—now darkened from use. The exposed inner rim likewise is naturally stained from years of use. Tea caddies of this form were usually made of wood and lacquer. Ceramic ones are not usually encountered. The design of this piece may have been inspired by the earlier, well-known potter, Nonomura Ninsei (c. 1574-1660), who worked in Kyoto and produced numerous articles in overglaze enameled earthenware for tea ceremony use. Good condition overall—some wear to the gilt enamel. No chips, cracks or repairs.
Height: 2 7/8 in.; Diameter: 3 in.