The sides of this exquisite quince-shaped dish are decorated with various openwork motifs including the flower-like kuyo design representing the seven stars of the Big Dipper, bamboo leaves, circles, triangles, and a gourd. The somewhat broad and tall foot, the long handle across its rim, and the overall unbalanced, contorted shape lend to its complex decorative features. At first glance, the straw-colored glaze appears to completely and uniformly cover the entire piece, but a closer look reveals the subtle changes, which highlight the light yellowish brown color distinctive in straw ash glaze, caused by firing. The gentle lines created by the potter's wheel on the inner and outer surface of the dish and its warped features formed in the firing process, due to its large size in proportion to its thinness, have lent to the beauty of this dynamic piece. Originally thought to be Hagi ware, this bowl is today identified as an early Takatori work, based on ceramic shards excavated from the Uchigaso kiln site. Although Takatori tea containers (J., chaire) and fresh water jars (J., mizusashi) are well known, kaiseki dishes from Takatori kilns, used in formal tea gatherings, such as this elegant piece, are not uncommon.
Mottled-glazed Bowl with Handle
and Openwork Design

Takatori ware
Japan, 17th century
D. 26.1 cm, H. 20.0 cm

Chinese Farewell Verse
Genre Scenes of Westerners
The Immortal Jurojin
Wu Huntress
Portraits of Thirty-six Immortal Poets
Jar with Ash Glaze, Sanage Ware
Tea Bowl, Named Jirobo, Raku Ware
Standing Buddha
Wide-Mouthed Jar
Buffalo-shaped Yi (Wine Container)
"Corpulent Woman" from Scroll of Diseases and Deformities
Tea Ceremony Kettle Made from Incense Burner, Old Ashiya Ware
Keko (Buddhist Flower Basket) with Openwork Hosoge Scrolls
Ikat Hanging with Design of Temples and Animals
Sarassa Hanging with Scene from the Tale of Krishna
Saddle with Wave Design in Mother-of-Pearl Inlay
Seated Maitreya Bodhisattva with One Leg Pendent
Mottled-glazed Bowl with Handle and Openwork Design
Gourd-shaped Jar with Flower-and-Bird Design
Mukozuke Bowls in Melon Shape with Underglaze-Iron and Copper
-Green Melon Design