Bowl with a plum design


Artist Ki-seto (yellow Seto) type, Mino ware
Period Momoyama period, 16th century
Materials and techniques Stoneware with underglaze green and brown decoration
Size H.4.5 MD.16.4 BD.9.3


Ki-Seto (Yellow Seto), along with Shino, Oribe and Setoguro (Black Seto) were produced in abundance in the Mino area during the Momoyama period. Its yellow color is the result of iron in the glaze being fired in an oxygen-rich kiln. The opaque warm tone of the yellow is very attractive and pleasing to the eye. Ki-Seto that is well-fired and has a glaze that is transparent and lustrous is called “Guinomi-de”, while, as in this bowl, one with a glaze that is matte and grainy is called “aburaage-de”, because the texture of the glaze resembles that of deep-fried tofu. The bowl in the shape of a dora (metal gong used in Buddhist temples) is decorated on the inside with plum blossoms which have been incised and then accented using iron and copper sulfate pigments. The upright rim is incised on the interior wall with a basket-weave pattern and splashed with copper sulfate and iron pigments. The foot, which is low and thin, is glazed and has a brown circular scar from the clay firing ring in the foot ring. There were quite a few kilns that produced Ki-Seto aburaage-de wares during the Momoyama period. Kiln ruins that have been discovered include Kamashita, Mutabora, Naka and Kuguri of Okaya, Kamagane at the foot of Sengen Mountain, Yuemon of Ohira, and Motoyashiki of Kujiri. The best of Ki-Seto ware were produced at the Kamashita kiln of Okaya, where the famous Ki-Seto wares, “Ki-Seto Dorabachi” owned by the Ogawa family of Ashiya and the “Hoju Kogo” owned by the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts are believed to have been produced. This bowl too is believed to have been fired there sometime during the Tensho era (1573-92) or the Bunroku era (1592-96).

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