Kinrande Rinse Water Jar (Kensui)

Kinrande Rinse Water Jar (Kensui)
Kotō ware, painting by Meihō; height 6.8 cm, mouth diameter 14.2 cm; Edo period, 19th century; Gift of the Ii Family

The kensui is a receptacle for water used to rinse the teabowl during the making of tea. The painting features a kingfisher perched on an old willow tree and scanning the water against a white ground. The fine lines of the bird’s feathers and the pattern around the rim use the same techniques seen on the fresh water jar (figure 85), suggesting that the two jars may have been part of a set (kaigu) of tea utensils that would also include a lid rest and ladle holder.

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