Japan: Art and Its Essence

Japan: Art and Its Essence

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 2. A Bizen ware deep dish | Momoyama period, late 16th century.

Property from an Important Private Collection

A Bizen ware deep dish | Momoyama period, late 16th century

Lot Closed

July 26, 01:02 PM GMT


36,000 - 40,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private Collection 

A Bizen ware deep dish

Momoyama period, late 16th century

the shallow, circular bowl with narrow rim, brushed with coloured glazes over a reddish clay body, hidasuki [fire markings], cross mark to the base, fitted wood storage box

49 cm. 19¼ in. diam. (the dish)

14.5 x 53 x 53 cm., 5¾ x 20⅞ x 20⅞ in. (the fitted wood storage box)

London Gallery, Toyko

The kilns of Bizen were noted for producing original colour palettes and the tonality of their fired clay bodies, which were imparted by manipulating the atmosphere within the kiln and accidental ash deposits fusing on the stoneware surfaces during firing.

Bizen ware is one of Japan’s most distinctive unglazed ceramics, embodying the Momoyama taste for a bold yet subtle style. Forms with a strong, reddish-brown body as well as fire-marks (hidasuki) are characteristic of the wares. Medieval Bizen kilns produced quotidian wares for everyday use, but began to produce speciality wares of a higher quality for the tea ceremony.

Dr. Nicole C. Rousmaniere explains how ‘Bizen kiln firing in the Momoyama period was an impressive event. The single-chamber kilns, following a natural incline, were up to fifty metres long, about four metres wide and two metres high, and were able to fire thousands of pieces at one time. Edo period documents record that the Bizen firing process took from thirty to forty days for large kilns and used over a hundred metric tons of pine. Because of the stacking technique, the intense heat (from 1200 – 60°C) and the length of firing, many pieces took on a distinctive appearance that could not be duplicated.’1

1. Money L. Hickman ed., Japan’s Golden Age: Momoyama, (Dallas, 1996), pg. 206