Nogime Tenmoku Teabowl

Nogime Tenmoku Teabowl
Jian ware; height 6.1 cm, mouth diameter 12.8 cm; China, Song dynasty, 13th century; Gift of the Ii Family

This piece, which flares wide in a “morning glory” shape, has a silver-trimmed rim and a carved-out ring-type foot. Iron in the thick black glaze melted in the firing and flowed down over the hard, dark-brown clay. The stripes of the flowing glaze evoke the bristles of ears of grain, giving the bowl its name, Nogime (“grain-bristle pattern”). Tenmoku teabowls, known for the technically challenging effects achieved in their firing process, have been highly prized among Chinese teabowls brought to Japan since the Kamakura period (1185–1333).

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