Bowl with four horses


Not on view

Known as ko-sometsuke, or “old blue-and-white” in Japanese, this type of Chinese porcelain was made for the Japanese market in the early seventeenth century. Such works often feature relatively coarse bodies and glazing as well as “naive” pictorial designs. Such “imperfections” were intentionally created to achieve a natural, even a humble aesthetic effect that was highly appreciated by Japanese tea masters. A bowl like the current piece would have functioned as a serving dish for sweets offered at an upscale tea ceremony. Its lively decoration and irregular shape would have perfectly enhanced the aestheticized assortment of objects used on such occasions.

Bowl with four horses, Porcelain painted in underglaze cobalt blue (Jingdezhen ware), China

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