This Japanese vintage Seto Ware 瀬戸 pottery plate dates to the Meiji period, it was not made as an export ware. The Uma no me 馬の目 Horse Eyes designed Seto pottery plate was popular at the end of the Edo Period 1603 – 1868. If these date to the younger years, then most likely they were as part of the Mingei movement. Mingei's founder Yanagi Soetsu acclaimed their attractive bold style, and it was at that time that the Seto umanome plates became collectors’ items. Made of famous Seto ware pottery see more below; they are heavy pieces’ hand painted with a dark brown iron oxide design over a light brown. On these are eight concentrical circles that do look like horse eyes- hence the name. On the larger platters or rare smaller plates there may be a different number. In their early days because of their sturdiness they were used as everyday ware, and often in the Japanese inns. This is a fine example of a Uma no me plate. It is in very good old vintage condition. There are no cracks or chips, there may be some scraping or other surface wear since they are old, please use the pictures as the rest of your condition report. This is a plate of great Seto history of the medium- large size called nakazara size which is good for decorating with:
SIZE: Diameter 8.86 in or 22.5 cm, Height 1.97in or 5 cm, Weight 617 grams or 1.36 lbs
Seto ware is the pottery made in Seto city and nearby areas of modern Aichi prefecture. Located close to Nagoya is one of the Nihon Rokkoyo i.e. one of the six old kilns of medieval Japan. The history of this craft in Seto goes back 1300-years, the longest of any area in Japan.
The history of ceramics in Seto dates back to the Heian period 794-1185, with the creation of Akazu-yaki ware, a type of pottery where the clay could be glazed in a number of different ways before it was fired. Seto area was the center of pottery manufacture in the Kamakura period; Ko-seto old Seto designates pieces made at this time. At the end of the Muromachi period the center of the pottery manufacture moved to nearby Mino. At that time, wares made in the area from Seto to Mino were called Seto- yaki. In the early Edo period, some pottery manufacture moved back to Seto.
The location of Seto makes it ideal for the production of pottery and ceramics. The soil around the city contains good quality porcelain clay and silica used in making glass, and there are forests nearby to provide firewood for fuel. Japan's first ash-glazed pieces were also fired in Seto sometime in the 14th century.
Seto became recognized as one of the six Nihon Rokkoyo during the Kamakura period 1158-1333, and it stood out from the other areas as it as the only area to glaze its pottery. Some excerpts above are from and see more at the Gotheborgs website on Japanese porcelain, also see more recent articles on eyakimono website. The link to both can be found under our Favorites links on our Homepage.
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