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Tea Storage Jar

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)

18th century

Porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze enamel decoration (Arita ware)

17 3/4 x 12 1/16 inches (45.1 x 30.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the George W.B. Taylor Fund, 1955

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    The quietly elegant mood expressed by this tea jar almost obscures the bold and experimental nature of its decoration. Instead of using the conventional approach, strongly influenced by Chinese porcelain, of covering the entire surface with intricate details to create an effect resembling brocaded cloth, the decorator of the Museum's jar chose a scheme that recalls a native Japanese painting style and related developments in Japanese kimono design. A single subject, a fence with flowering vine, is dramatically and asymmetrically placed using the entire surface of the jar as its field. The large amount of empty space further establishes a clear opposition between the subject and its background. Although heavy-bodied jars of this sort were made in great numbers during the Edo period for both export and domestic tea storage, this decorative style is rare and perhaps even unique among such pieces in public collections today. Emiko Usui Mikisch, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 44.