Purchased in Kyoto, Japan about 30 - 35 years ago, this Kuro-raku or black raku hand made chawan or tea bowl is representative of a 400 year old tradition uniting the Japanese Tea Ceremony and ceramic art.
Matcha bowls are designed for the tea ceremony and the drinking of green tea. Raku bowls are considered by many to be the best. They are soft and warm in the hand, with undulating features that enhance the experience of drinking tea. They are thick and earthy, but light in weight. The dark color if favored because it complements the color of the tea. The bowls are shaped by hand and each is unique, made with special clay and glazes with high regard for tradition. The reddish decoration at the front of the bowl is made with a special copper containing glaze. It is stamped on the bottom with the potter's mark.
The chawan tea bowl is an art form with both cultural and spiritual significance. Whether you are a student of the tea ceremony or a collector of Japanese art, you may find this a treasure.
The bowl comes in the original box, and to the best of my knowledge, it has not been used. The bowl measures about 4 1/2" across and 3" high. The box is 5" x 5" and 3 3/4" high and covered in a dark blue rice paper. All sides of the bowl are shown in the photos.