Meiji Bijutsu

E-karatsu Chaire

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1940: Item # 1187560
Meiji Bijutsu
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Kita-aoyama 3-14-1
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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This attractive chaire (tea caddy) is part of a series of mostly antique and vintage items that we recovered from the storehouse of a retired construction contractor. His house is located in the southern part of Kyoto, where buildings from the Edo and Meiji periods still stand. His son not being interested in inheriting his father's collection, we were asked to take them out, and we are now able to present them to you.

Chaire are thick tea containers, whereas natsume are used for thin tea and are usually made of lacquered wood. This particular container is a Karatsu ware, made in the town of Karatsu, located on the northern coast of Kyushu and a major pottery production center for more than 400 years.

Karatsu ware has been a favorite of Japanese tea ceremony practitioners since its beginnings. Today still, its simple forms and natural feel is much appreciated. Decorated Karatsu, like this particular container, is called e-karatsu. This chaire is unsigned and probably dates from the end of the Taisho period (1912-1926) to the early Showa period (1926-1937). It is a good example of wabi-sabi aesthetics with its rough looking body and apparent crack (see picture 9).

Please let us know if you have some questions.

The chaire is in great condition. As mentioned above, there is a visible crack under it and also inside the container, but these occurred during firing and are not uncommon. Even if they are called kiln flaws, they are full parts of the features that shape the beauty of the pot. (Please note that the colors of the shifuku (pouch), which shows a little wear, are closer to reality on picture 11.

The chaire will be shipped in an unsigned wooden box.
Dimensions: 6.2 x 5.6 cm (2.5 x 2.24 in); 121 g (4.2 oz)

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