Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Tea Caddy (Seitaka)

Artist:
Nonomura Ninsei (Japanese, active ca. 1646–94)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1650
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Stoneware with red, brown, and black glazes
Dimensions:
H. (with lid) 6 in. (15.2 cm); Diam. 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm); Diam. of rim 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm); Diam. of base 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Gift of Howard Mansfield, 1936
Accession Number:
36.120.559a–f
Not on view
This small, thin jar was used in the tea ceremony to hold powdered green tea known as matcha. It was made by Nonomura Ninsei, one of the most famous Japanese potters. He is known for being the first potter to sign his name to his work. Ninsei worked at a kiln he established outside Ninnaji temple, near Kyoto. His style, which is typically ornate and refined, set a standard that would define the appearance of Kyoto ceramics from that point on. This tea caddy is different from his usual work, in that there are no designs painted on the surface and the colors are subdued. However, even a less showy piece such as this one reveals the sophistication of Ninsei's eye.
Inscription: Ninsei cha ire Kanamori hitsu, Seitaka.

Marking: Ninsei (imp.)
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Blossoms of Many Colors: A Selection from the Permanent Collection of Japanese Art," March 21, 2000–August 9, 2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: Two Decades of Collecting Japanese Art," 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Drama of Eyes and Hands: Sharaku's Portraits of Kabuki Actors," September 20, 2007–March 24, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ukiyo-e Artists' Responses to Romantic Legends of Two Brothers: Narihira and Yukihira," March 27, 2008–June 8, 2008.

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