Tea bowl with design of blossoming plum tree, unknown Raku ware workshop


Historical period(s)
Edo period, 19th century
Raku-type pottery with Black Raku glaze; white slip and cobalt pigment under clear glaze
Raku ware, unknown workshop
H x W: 7.7 x 12 cm (3 1/16 x 4 3/4 in)
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, plum blossom, plum tree, Raku ware, tea

To 1911
Y. Fujita and Company, Kyoto, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Y. Fujita and Company in 1911 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 2176, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Y. Fujita and Company (C.L. Freer source)


Touches of cobalt on the painted plum branch adorning this pottery bowl allude playfully to cobalt decoration found on white porcelain vessels. The earliest Raku tea bowls were monochrome black, but later potters introduced decoration by scraping away portions of the glaze and coating those areas with white slip as a ground for painted motifs.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum