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Bizen Horn (sm).jpg

Bizen Tsuno-Gata Wall Vase

Edo Period, Mid-17th c., Japan

Height: 40.6cm

A large stoneware wall vase in the shape of a skewed rhino horn from the Bizen kilns.  The piece has a thick stoneware body with turning lines evident on the interior.  The exterior surface varies in tone from dark reddish brown on the back to dark brown on the front.  The front has a scattered “sesame seed” style of glaze in an amber color,  which runs up one side from the bottom point and becomes sparser towards the top.  There is a metal ovoid hook attached to the back through an original hole, which is probably a 19th - 20th century replacement for the original.  The intentionally darkened surface is typical of “Imbede” style Bizen wares, which originated in the early 17th century.  This, together with its large size, indicates a mid-seventeenth century dating for this piece.

Horn-shaped cups and vases were produced in Japan since the Asuka Period, influenced by early Korean Silla wares.  Porcelain examples were produced in both Korea and Japan in the 17th - 18th centuries.

Although no complete Bizen pieces appear to be published, they are mentioned in Tea Ceremony chronicles and two pieces reconstructed from kiln site excavations were published by Nahoko Shimomura in her book on Bizen tea-wares “Bizen ChaDoGu Kenkyu”. Kyoto, 2016. Pg. 155.

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