- Museum number
Tea-jar in globular form. High-fired pottery with natural ash glaze. Sanage ware. With lacquer-repaired chip on rim.
- Production date
- 10thC -12thC
Diameter: 16.40 centimetres (base)
Diameter: 11.30 centimetres (mouth)
Diameter: 29.50 centimetres
Height: 24.50 centimetres
Weight: 3.35 kilograms
- Curator's comments
The mountainous Sanage region, near present-day Nagoya, provided a white clay suitable for making fine quality,
high-fired Sue type, wheel-turned pottery during the Nara and Heian periods. The ash glazes were green and yellowy brown, producing an effect somewhat similar to the highly prized Chinese deliberately glazed wares of the time. This piece has a lacquer repair to the rim, which might indicate its deliberate spoiling for use as an ossuary. (label copy, VH, 1999)
Smith et al 1990
In the Nara and early Heian periods the numerous kilns of Sanage (close to present-day Nagoya) were the main centre of production in Japan for high-quality ceramic wares. They were a continuation of the tradition of high-fired pottery, sometimes thrown on the wheel, which had flourished in the ceremonial Sue wares of the late Kofun period (F2213a, 2213d, 2213e, 2214, 2219,2219a, 2222, 2224g, 2225, 2226, 2227, 2228, 2231, 2234b, 2242, 2248, 2267a, 2268, OA+665). Sue had gradually come to capitalise on the natural glazes which could result from deposits of ash from the kiln itself, and in Sanage wares it became a norm which was to continue into the later medieval period. These glazes were greyish, brownish or yellowish, and helped establish the Japanese preference for sombre pottery which was to find its fullest expression in Tea Ceremony taste.
Despite its relatively rough appearance to modern eyes, this piece must have been among the finest available at the time in Japan, when the technology of all-over coloured glazing of the Chinese was rarely attempted, though occasionally pieces were imported. Its crisp potting and stately shape suggest a piece for temple, shrine or court use. Indeed, similar examples complete with lids have been recovered from 'sutra-mounds' of the period, when they were used to hold religious relics or devotional objects.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2009 1 May-20 Sep, Victoria, Royal BC Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2009 11 Dec-2010 10 May, Madrid, Canal de Isabel II, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2012 18 Apr – 17 Jul, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, ‘Treasures of the World’s Cultures’
- Acquisition date
- Registration number