Set of Small Dishes (Kiln Furnitures)

  • Mino kiln, Gifu pref.
  • Muromachi to Momoyama periods
  • 16-17c
  • Mino ware
  • D-13
Catalogue Entry

During the early 16th century the Mino kilns followed the example of the Seto area kilns and began to transfer their production from anagama simple kilns to ogama large kilns. The following years developed into the greatest period for the production of Momoyama period ceramics such as Shino and Oribe style cares. Saggers and other kiln furniture is used in ogama large kilns. First a dish is rested on a stand that fits inside of its foot and then placed in a box‐like sagger. Three horizontal pins are driven horizontally into the sides of the sagger, and then a hasami dish is placed on top of that construct. In the same manner, these saggers contained as many dishes as possible. Thus these stacked dishes were a form of kiln equipment.

The clay for these dishes was rich in iron, as they had to be of a higher firing point than the clay of the works they were suspended over. The amount of iron in the body depended on the region. The older forms of this type of dish are large with a bent lip, which the smaller diameter pieces with a round raised platform area in their interior are generally newer. The many drips of glaze found on these Miho dishes fired to a rich green thanks to the highly reductive kiln atmosphere. While kiln utensils are normally fated to be destroyed in the course of their use, these six dishes have been selected from extant examples for their size and their skill of production. These spots of dripping glaze create an unparalleled beauty, and our appreciation for these dishes deepens as we pick them up in our hands and use them.