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Storage Jar

Storage Jar

15th century

Stoneware with natural ash glaze (Tamba ware)

Diameter: 37 cm (14 9/16 in.); Overall: 46.5 cm (18 5/16 in.)

Gift from the Collection of George Gund III 2015.494

Description

For centuries the Tokai region surrounding present-day Nagoya has been an especially fertile ceramic production center. One site was a group of kilns located west of Kyoto, in Tamba province. Nestled in a farming valley in the mountains behind the modern port of Kobe, Tamba required a regular supply of storage vessels and sturdy containers for distributing grain. This jar was formed in three sections, each fluted to the next and turned on a potter's wheel to scrape off excess material. Both interior and exterior walls were smoothed with a wooden or bamboo tool, leaving markings on the lower body and shoulder. The neck opening is small and wheel-turned, as is the neck, which bears fine lines and a matte-glazed surface. The lustrous green glaze that highlights the jar once trailed from the vessel's lip and clung to the entire shoulder wall, mingling with the warm, orange-brown tone of the clay body underneath. The surface is crackled with craters where stone material within the clay migrated up to the surface during firing and then fell away. The result is a particularly rich and varied "landscape," typical of Tamba ware's subdued, earthy vitality.

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