Large Jar


Artist Echizen ware
Period Kamakura period, dated 1323
Materials and techniques Stoneware
Size H.60.1 MD.52.0 D.65.1 BD.24.0


Echizen ware was produced in an area around Taira of Ota-cho and Kumadani of Miyazaki-mura in Niu County of Fukui Prefecture. The jars of the Kamakura period closely resemble Tokoname jars, and it is obvious that it developed with the introduction of Tokoname ware techniques. The overall shape, in fact, including the mouth rim, the broad swelling shoulder and the tapering base, is so much alike that unless one looks closely at the actual jars, it is difficult to tell them apart. However in the latter Kamakura period, the differences between the two wares become more distinct, and they can be distinguished not only by the clay and the kiln marks on the shoulder, but by the way the mouth is fashioned. Whereas a Tokoname jar of this period has a mouth rim which sags down, Echizen jar maintains a trim mouth rim. This is because Echizen ware uses a more refractory clay which prevents the rim from drooping during the firing. The illustrated jar was made by building up thick coils of iron-rich sandy clay peculiar to Echizen. Compared to Tokoname, Echizen’s clay could withstand a higher firing temperature, and this jar, like many Echizen pieces, has the swelling shoulder and thin mouth rim characteristic of the Kamakura period. The jar, with the date of completion, September 29, 1323, inscribed on the shoulder with a nail, is a valuable example, considered a standard work of the Kamakura period. On another side of the shoulder is a kiln mark of seen vertical lines and incised kana letters along with designs resembling grasses and flowers.

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