Very Rare Japanese Soup or Rice Bowl Owan


Second half of the 19th century. 4 1/2" diameter. Lathe turned wood as typical but the wood left exposed rather than lacquered over as virtually always encountered. The top with thick lacquer built up gnarled foliage, bird and butterfly all in the same color as the body resulting in a work of art practically obscured for lack of contrast. When served, the guest was obliged to compliment the host on the beauty of the serving vessel. In this instance, its lack of eye appeal traps the guest. Of course, it works both ways and he is wondering what the redeeming surprise will be. When he removes the top, he is again expected to compliment the host on presentation. The underside of the top is decorated with the most beautiful view of Fuji with trees, all lavishly presented in true pure gold. At the extreme right, on the edge, there is a single green leaf of a tree, out of view, but contributing to the perspective. A wonderful insight to the interplay of Meiji Japanese formality and humor.

Item ID: B1917

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Very Rare Japanese Soup or Rice Bowl Owan

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