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Square Bowl with a plum design


Artist Shino type, Mino ware
Period Momoyama period, 16th century
Materials and techniques Stoneware with underglaze iron decoration
Size H.9.1 MD.29.6 BD.20.2×19.7


The bowl shown here has a lip which rolls inward and is deep and large on the inside. The walls were pulled up slowly from a round base forming a four-sided bowl with a drop at the hip. From its round shape, one can almost feel the soft texture of the vessel. Shino decorated with motifs rendered in iron pigment are called E-Shino or decorated Shino. Vessels are formed with moxa clay and painted with pictures before the glaze is applied using a pigment which was made by crushing and grinding oni-ita, a red clay rich in iron and manganese abundant in areas around Seto and Mino. Here, the lip rolling inward is decorated with patterns of waves, while the interior surface bears a large design of a blossoming plum tree drawn in a free and spontaneous style. The feldspathic glaze, applied thickly over the entire piece, has melted to a smooth surface. The bottom, flat with three loop feet, is totally glazed and has three spur marks from the firing. Orangish fire color can be seen in a few places including the lip, adding yet another charm to the beautiful bowl.

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