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Negoro ware saké bottle (Heishi)

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Japan, unknown artist, Negoro ware saké bottle (Heishi), 15th/16th century, lacquered wood, The John Yeon Collection; Gift of Richard Louis Brown, public domain, 2009.21

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Details
Title

Negoro ware saké bottle (Heishi)

Artist

Japan, unknown artist (Japanese)

Date

15th/16th century

Medium

lacquered wood

Dimensions (H x W x D)

12 1/8 in x 8 in diam.; mouth: 1 13/16 in diam.; foot: 6 1/16 in diam.

Collection Area

Asian Art

Category

Lacquerware

Object Type

bottle

Culture

Japanese

Credit Line

The John Yeon Collection; Gift of Richard Louis Brown

Accession Number

2009.21

Copyright

public domain

Terms

bottles

lacquerware

Negoro

wood

Location

Belluschi Building

Hirsch Wing

1st Floor

Schnitzer Family Gallery

Description

This lacquered wooden vessel, with its broad shoulders, narrow waist, and spreading foot, is known as a heishi, a type of bottle for rice wine (J. sake). The mottled red color was achieved by applying layers of red lacquer (tinted with cinnabar) over black, a technique developed by artisans in the employ of Negoro Temple, a Buddhist monastery nestled in the mountains of southern Kii peninsula.

The shape of this sake bottle recalls Chinese ceramic wine bottles of the Song dynasty (960–1279), which were well known in Japan. Here the Japanese craftsman has exaggerated the contours of the vessel, making the shoulders wider and the waist more narrow, to create a more dynamic form.

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