Fine Japanese art and tea implements

A Stunning Korean Karatsu Tea Bowl with Hakeme and Kintsugi

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Tea Articles: Pre 1700: Item # 1369681

Please refer to our stock # TRC1831 when inquiring.
Kyoto Ceramics and Fine Art
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Kamigamo District
Kyoto, Japan

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Stemming from the philosophy of wabi-sabi—often described as the beauty found in the imperfection and transience of the world—cracks and repairs in a work of pottery are often seen as highlighting the history and importance of a ceramic object. Practitioners of tea in particular are fond of reminding us that works repaired with lacquer and gold such as the one featured here become more resilient and beautiful for having been damaged. In this case, the gold repairs undoubtedly enhance the beauty of this work, making for a unique and striking composition.

The tradition of kintsugi is said to date from the Japanese Muromachi Period (1392 - 1573) and was born of a Japanese aesthetic that encourages the playful use of ones artistic senses to grasp the essence of a ceramic landscape. As you can imagine, it is most often used to piece together the broken fragments of treasured objects―thus returning them to their former shape. 

But what exactly is the appeal in this? Where does our fascination with this art-form come from? Some would say it stems from the process of recognizing and accepting the condition of brokenness; thus allowing for healing and transformation to occur. And, along with this healing transformation, an anomaly comes into being; an uncommon sort of beauty, one to be wondered over and cherished. The beauty of kintsugi emanates not solely from the mend itself, but rather from the condition of having transcended injury. One could even say this process creates a sort of “oneness”; bridging the material world with that of the world of spirit―where dwells the human heart. 

In antique condition with extensive gold repairs, this piece is 5.5 inches in diameter at its widest point (14.1 cm) and stands 3.4 inches tall (8.5 cm). It comes with a period wood box and wrapped in antique decorative silk cloth. The lettering on the box describes it as a “hakeme” (white slip brushed) “kutsu-gata” (shoe-shaped type) and “Chosen Karatsu” (Karatsu-ware from ancient Korea). *** International Shipping & Insurance Included in the Price.