Flower-Shaped Tray (Rinka-bon)


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With a lobed silhouette inspired by Chinese flower-shaped ceramics and lacquers, this tray represents the high esteem in which medieval Japan held imported Chinese art works (karamono). Such precious objects came to Japan with the introduction of new schools and teachings of Buddhism, especially that of Zen. Chrysanthemum-shaped trays were made by Japanese craftsmen from around the mid-thirteenth century. Most of these trays were used with tenmoku tea bowls to serve tea.

Flower-Shaped Tray (Rinka-bon), Wood with black and red lacquer layers (Negoro ware), Japan

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