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Tea bowl

Tea bowl

  • Place of origin:

    Kyoto (made)

  • Date:

    1615-1637 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hon'ami, Koetsu (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand-built Black Raku type high-fired earthenware with black glaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 143, The Timothy Sainsbury Gallery, case 20, shelf 1

This bowl is one of a small number of surviving ceramics by Hon'ami Koetsu (1558-1637), a noted designer-connoisseur who played a prominent role in Kyoto artistic circles during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Koetsu's abilities extended to the making of Raku tea bowls, the art of which he learnt from Raku Donyu (1599-1656), the third generation head of the Raku family. This bowl is one of the most important pieces of Japanese ceramics in the V&A's collection. It is similar in shape and treatment, though somewhat smaller in size, to a tea bowl in the collection of the Goto Museum in Tokyo entitled 'Shichiri' (lit. 'Seven Leagues').

Physical description

Tea bowl with slightly everted straight sides, flat base, low footring, all-over covering of black glaze partially scraped away on interior and exterior

Place of Origin

Kyoto (made)


1615-1637 (made)


Hon'ami, Koetsu (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Hand-built Black Raku type high-fired earthenware with black glaze


Height: 8.5 cm, Width: 12.7 cm, Depth: 11.5 cm, Diameter: 5.0 cm foot diameter

Object history note

Exhibited at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition

Descriptive line

Tea bowl, Raku ware with black glaze, Kyoto, Japan, by Hon'ami Kôetsu (1558-1637), 1615-1637

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.

Labels and date

Raku tea bowl
Kyoto, by Hon’ami Kōetsu (1558-1637)
High-fired earthenware with iron black glaze
V&A 247-1877
[December 2014]






Ceramics; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; Earthenware; Stoneware


East Asia Collection

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