備前牡丹餅平鉢 Serving Dish (Hirabachi) with Circular Patterns (Botan-mochi)
Momoyama period (1573–1615)
early 17th century
Stoneware with natural ash glaze (Bizen ware)
Diam. 11 13/16 in. (30 cm)
Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015
Not on view
The deliberate distortion of this large, circular platter and the presence of grotesquely beautiful firing marks suggest the guiding spirit of a tea master. When thrown on the potter’s wheel, the platter was probably intentionally deformed into a three-lobed vessel. Its only decorative features—four large, scorched-looking circles—are actually vestiges of smaller objects that were placed on top of it to utilize kiln space economically during the firing process. Small balls of clay inserted to separate these objects from the platter have also left their marks. The wood ash that fell onto the platter during the firing left rich mustard-brown speckles on the surface (except in the areas covered by the four small objects). Although initially such marks were no doubt accidental, they were eventually cultivated as decorative features.
This platter was most likely intended for use in serving kaiseki, the simple meal that precedes chanoyu. The unglazed underside displays the deep chocolate brown of Bizen clay. Four low feet cut away from the body of the platter reveal the artisan’s modeling skills.
[Miyeko Murase 2000, Bridge of Dreams]
Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation , New York (until 2015; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Japanese Art from The Mary Griggs Burke Collection," March 30, 2000–June 25, 2000.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Turning Point: Oribe and the Arts of Sixteenth-Century Japan," October 21, 2003–January 11, 2004.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection," October 20, 2015–January 22, 2017.
Cort, Louise Allison. “Ceramics and the Tea Ceremony.” Apollo 121, no. 276 (February 1985): pp. 120–23, fig. 4.
Tokyo National Museum. Nihon bijutsu meihin ten: New York Burke Collection / A Selection of Japanese Art from the Mary and Jackson Burke Collection. Exh. cat. Tokyo: Chunichi Shimbun, 1985, cat. no. 90.
Avitabile, Gunhild, ed. Die Kunst des alten Japan: Meisterwerke aus der Mary and Jackson Burke Collection, New York. Exh. cat. Frankfurt: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 1990, cat. no. 140.
Murase, Miyeko. Bridge of Dreams: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection of Japanese Art. Exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000, cat. no. 103.
Murase, Miyeko, ed. Turning Point: Oribe and the Arts of Sixteenth-Century Japan. Exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003, cat. no. 106.
Tsuji Nobuo et al. Nyūyōku Bāku korekushon-ten: Nihon no bi sanzennen no kagayaki / Enduring Legacy of Japanese Art: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu; Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; and Miho Museum, Shigaraki, Shiga Prefecture. [Tokyo]: Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha, 2005, cat. no. 53.