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Title

Sake cup with gold lacquer mending

17th century


Artist

Shino ware

Japan


About

Besides being a fine example of early Edo period ceramic drinking utensil produced in the Mino kilns (Gifu Prefecture), this Shino ware sake cup holds particular interest for its 'kintsugi' (lit. ‘to patch with gold’) , or repair with gold lacquer. The sake cup shows a stylised wave motif on the repaired area.

Due to its outstanding adhesive quality lacquer has been used to mend ceramics in Japan for many centuries. Since the 16th century, however, this technique has been cultivated to a highly distinctive and fascinating Japanese art form, as craftsmen ennobled the mending by sprinkling the lacquer with gold or silver powder, bringing the broken object thus to new life and adding a whole new level of aesthetic complexity. The appeal of the delicate ‘golden veins’ zigzagging across a coarsely glazed surface of a tea bowl or tea caddy has captured the imagination of renowned tea masters such as Sen no Rikyu and Furuta Oribe, who saw in them the perfect embodiment of the 'wabi' and 'sabi' aesthetics, central to their style of 'chanoyu'. Moreover, Japanese collectors from the 16th centuries onwards were also attracted to the notion of ‘rebirth’ behind the costly restored ceramic pieces. Instead of being discarded when broken or damaged (sometimes due to mistakes that happen during the firing process), the object could gain a better, more unique appearance after being mended with gold or silver lacquer and consequently is more valuable than an intact piece.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2011.


Details


Place where the work was made

Japan


Cultural origin

Mashizume kiln


Date

17th century


Media category

Ceramic


Materials used

earthenware, gold lacquer, 'maki-e'


Dimensions

3.3 x 6.7 cm


Credit

Gift of Miss Peta Phillips 2011


Location

Not on display


Accession number

382.2011


Artist information

Shino ware

Works in the collection

2


Place

Where the work was made
Japan

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history