Taihisan Tenmoku Chawan

major landmarks
National Treasure
Height: 6.4 cm
Mouth diameter: 11.7 cm
Outer diameter of the base: 3.5cm
Height: 0.1cm

Tortoiseshell covered tortoiseshell bowls have been handed down from generation to generation in Japan, and many of them are of excellent style.
The shape of the bowl is as usual for tortoiseshell lids, but the mouth is not twisted back as in the case of the “jiaozan”. It has a rounded waist and a very low base, similar to a gose bottom, but with a very low base. The way of cutting is not rough. The tatami mats are of a certain width and are finished precisely, with a circular ring-shaped base. The lid is a rare example of a meticulously crafted mothskin lid. The base is a slightly yellowish grayish-white, which is characteristic of tortoiseshell lids, and is fine and tightly fired.
The outer surface is black glazed and sprinkled with straw ash glaze to create the so-called tortoiseshell mottling, while the inner surface is black glazed with the XSS Potan technique, in which a cut paper mold is placed over the black glaze and then the mold is carefully sprinkled with straw ash glaze before being removed to reveal the blackened appearance. The main motifs. The first is a “kodan-hana” pattern, which consists of two peony flowers placed back-to-back, one in the center, five around the center, and nine outside the center, spaced at regular intervals. The mouth is surrounded by a small circle around the entirety of these! A thin band with a floral arabesque pattern is also stamped in black around the whole of these pieces.
This beautiful and intricate design is unusual for a tortoiseshell tortoiseshell cover.
The interior of the tortoiseshell lid has a fine, fine, purplish and pale yellowish-white marbled pattern of straw ash glaze over a black glaze, with bluish and reddish tints at the base and under the rim, creating a sparkling, floral effect. It is also pleasant that there is a moist luster peculiar to the Tenmoku tea bowls of the transmission period in general.
The mouth rim is decorated with a Shinroku covering.
The place of production is the Jizhou kiln in Jiangxi Province. It was probably made in the 12th or 3rd century during the Southern Song period. It is assumed to have been brought to Japan early and passed down through the generations, but its early owner is not known.
In the middle of the Edo period, it was owned by a wealthy merchant in Osaka, Ueda Saburoemon, but in An’ei 7, it was acquired by Lord Matsudaira Fumai at the cost of 150 ryo through the intercession of Kawachiya Sokai, a tool merchant in Edo.
Lord Fumairaki regarded it as one of the most famous and prized items in Japan, along with Chojiro Kitano Kuro, Kizaemon Ido, Aburitake Tenmoku, Kaga Ido, and others. Since then, it has been in the Unshu Matsudaira family, and was designated as a former National Treasure in 1929. After the war, it was transferred to the present owner, and in 1953, it was designated as a new National Treasure. It is an outstanding example of the Tenmoku tea bowl.
(Hasebe Rakuji)

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