Portable set for outdoor Tea Ceremony

From Japan
Edo period, 17th-18th century AD

A set of teabowl, caddy, napkin-holder, tea-whisk and holder, and a container

Tea Ceremonies were often held outside, especially when combined with the viewing of cherry blossoms or the colours of autumn. Sets of tea utensils were chosen to enhance the feeling of the season.

This group of objects is a fine example of how the Tea Ceremony brought into harmony a number of objects of varying style, material and origin

The teabowl is E-Karatsu ('picture Karatsu') type pottery from Hizen Province, painted with simple motifs in underglaze iron brown. The rim has been repaired with gold and silver lacquer which has in turn been incised with a wave motif. The caddy (second from right) is probably of Takatori pottery from Chikuzen Province and has a turned ivory lid. The tea-whisk is made from a single node of bamboo. It has been split and split again. The two sets of tines are separated by steaming, curving and by threading at the base. The whisk-holder is made of woven bamboo. The paper napkin-holder is porcelain decorated in underglaze blue. The lacquer container was made later to fit the teabowl. It is richly decorated in gold makie and nashiji with a design of an ivy-covered fence.

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More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)


Height: 12.000 cm (container)

Museum number

Asia JA 1955.2-21.1.a-h


Gift of Mr. And Mrs. D. Hewett


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