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Ceramics

Three-Layered Food Container with Ten Noble Plant Designs

  • by Aoki Mokubei
  • Height: 21.5 cm
  • Diameter: 16.6 cm
  • Edo Period (dated 1815)
  • GK 215
  • Kyoto National Museum

Aoki Mokubei (1767-1833) was the reviver of Kyoto ceramics. His porcelains were rich in elements associated with the literati, China, and the sencha (steeped tea) tea ceremony.
This three-tiered container has cloud-shaped feet; the middle and the lower tiers have five inner divisions. The designs of the "ten noble plants" and their respective Chinese characters are executed in elegant cobalt-oxide blue. The Chinese theme is expressed in the traditional Kyoto porcelain form and technique.
Mokubei's seal is impressed on the reverse side of the lid and the upper and middle container's underside, while his signature is on the reverse side of the lower container in underglaze blue. The dated inscription on this container's lacquered box proves that it was produced by Mokubei at the age of forty-nine.

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