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Oribe-Type Ewer

Greenish brown ceramic kettle with floral and geometric designs
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Greenish brown ceramic kettle with floral and geometric designs


early 17th century



About this artwork

Furuta Oribe (1544–1615) was a military general–turned–tea aesthete whose style of presentation at tea gatherings catered to the samurai class and rulers of seventeenth-century Japan. In contrast to his predecessors, Oribe preferred tea wares that were bold and eccentric rather than subtle and rustic. He was the first to recognize the beauty of artfully misshapen ceramics for use in tea gatherings. Ewers such as this were employed as water containers during the meal that preceded the tea service. Their distinctive glaze contains copper, which turned green in the firing process. This glaze, along with slightly off-kilter or distorted shapes, became trademarks of Oribe ware produced in the Mino region (now Gifu Prefecture) of Japan.

This vessel features drawings of plum blossoms, wheels, a hexagonal tortoiseshell pattern, and a lattice, all done in an underglaze iron wash. This is typical of such wares, which most often do not have a single decorative theme, but rather depict a mélange of almost abstract motifs akin to the popular patterning on textiles of the period.

On View

Arts of Asia, Gallery 106


Oribe-Type Ewer






Glazed stoneware


26.7 × 21.6 cm (10 1/2 × 8 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Robert Allerton

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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