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1. A BLUE AND WHITE ‘KRAAK’ STYLE CYLINDRICAL WATER CONTAINER, MIZUSASHI, MING   DYNASTY, TIANQI PERIOD (1620-1627)

明天啟 青花卡拉克水指

The tapering sides rising to a flattened rim, painted with a figure seated under a willow tree in a fenced garden in a mountainous river landscape, below a band of florets and trellis, above three applied animal mask feet, the base is unglazed and slightly concaved, Japanese  wood box

Height: 17cm, black lacquer cover

Provenance: Purchased in Kyoto, 2015; Mujintang Collection.

The piece is decorated in typical 17th century style, with a figure seated under a willow tree in a fenced garden in a continuous mountainous river landscape. The floral panels on a trellis ground below the rim are reminiscent of the formal patterns of ‘Kraak’ ware. Curiously, the potter has applied three ‘mask’ feet, as if he was making a censer, but in this case they serve no practical purpose, as they stop short of the foot. This water container is a rare form and it is interesting to see the adaption of shape and decoration of the European export ‘Kraak’ style into a Japanese tea ceremony water container. The mizusashi was used to bring water to the Japanese tea room. It was is only touched by the host and was used to replenish the water in the kettle (kama) at the end of certain ceremonies. 

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