This Japanese vintage Seto -yaki porcelain teapot is small, in Japan, it is most often use for sencha tea. Sencha 煎茶 literally translates as decocted tea and is the most popular type of green tea in Japan. More than 80% of the green tea processed in Japan results in sencha. All types of tea come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The difference between different teas lies in the cultivation and further processing. Sencha is made from green tea leaves that are cultivated in direct sunlight and are harvested in the first or second flush. Tea leaves of the first harvest have the best quality.
Today's Seto -yaki or Seto ware falls under the Mino-yaki family along with Mino, Shino, and Oribe ware. It is also one of the oldest ceramics of Japan and known as one of the six Rokkuyu or six old famous kilns of Japan. The old and new Seto blue and white wares are gorgeous, often resembling Hirado ware. It is absolutely one of my favorites. This pot is about 30 years old ating to the late Showa period of 1926-1989.
This Seto -yaki teapot is very very pretty. On fine white Seto porcelain is painted many morning glory flowers overlapping each other and decorated in two different shades of underglaze blue with overglaze enamels on the handle, spout and lid. It has a nice form and delicate shape. The unusual handle forms a wide 'v' giving plenty of room for holding. The spout is also wide and they are both decorated with a wide border. the handle with a line of water drops. The finial is in the shape of a cone on a nicely rounded lid. It is in excellent condition with no cracks, chips or repairs an perhaps some minor surface wear to the paint although it is still bright and vibrant.
Size: Width 5 inches or 12.7 cm, Length 3.5 inches or 9 cm, Height 2.8 inches or 7 cm. Weight 6.7 ounces
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 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.
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.
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 Gotheborg 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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