Tea Leaf Jar with Design of Mt. Yoshino
Important Cultural Property
NONOMURA Ninsei (active 17th century)
Japan, 17th century
H.35.7 cm

This tea jar, decorated in bright enamels with a spring landscape of the famous cherry blossom viewing site of Mt. Yoshino, is one of the most highly regarded works of Kyoto's foremost ceramic artist, Nonomura Ninsei. It is among the largest of Ninsei's surviving tea jars, and bears one of his most vivid, painterly designs in the lively blossoms in the rich gold, silver and red underglaze pigments that encircle its generous circumference. Ninsei wares are known for their fine wheel-throwing, and this jar is thrown quite thinly for its size. Consequently, it is surprisingly light and easy to lift. It has been discovered that most of the Ninsei tea leaf jars were made for Lord Kyogoku of the Marugame domain on the island of Shikoku. This jar is no exception, and remained in the Kyogoku family until 1955, when it was acquired by the art collector Matsunaga Jian.

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