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Satsuma ware tea-ceremony water jar in the shape of a well curb

Meiji era

White stoneware with enamels over clear glaze; wood, metal, and lacquer lid
H: 2.4 W: 13.1 D: 12.8 cm

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1897.10a-b

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In the tea ceremony, the water jar holds cold water used to replenish the kettle as boiling water is ladled out to make bowls of tea. Tea practitioners paid special attention to certain famous wells as sources of delicious water-a key element in Japanese gardens. This jar's form represents the wooden curb surrounding such a well. Chrysanthemums rendered in pale colors and gold suggest a private garden setting enclosing the well and also indicate the season.

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