Tuesday, 17 February 2015


'Tales of a Tea Jar: Chinese Ceramics and Tea in Japan'
Given by Louise Cort
Sponsored by
The Sir Percival David Foundation Trust

A remarkable story of luck brought a standard Chinese storage jar into the realm of tea culture (chanoyu) in Japan. While the jar played a practical role for storage of tea, it was also drawn into the system of connoisseurship that developed in the context of chanoyu. It was deemed worthy of a personal name, Chigusa, and provided with luxurious silk accessories. Sixteenth-century diaries of tea events describe its appearance in detail. Chigusa’s story provides a focal point for considering the shifting role of Chinese ceramics in chanoyu, especially in the era before kilns in Japan began producing tea ceramics.

WHEN? Monday 11 May 2015 
TIME? Lecture: 18.00   Reception: 17.30
WHERE? Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SR


To reserve a seat in advance please contact:
Christine Mitch
T: (+44) (0)207 468 824
E: christine.mitchell@bonhams.com 
Louise Cort is Curator for Ceramics at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Her interests include historical and contemporary ceramics in Japan, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, and the Japanese arts of tea (chanoyu).

She is the author of:
Shigaraki, Potters’ Valley (1979, 2000)
Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia
Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (online catalogue with George Ashley Williams IV and David P. Rehfuss, 2008)
Temple Potters of Puri (2012)
Chigusa and the Art of Tea (with Andrew M. Watsky, 2014)       

Tea-leaf storage jar named Chigusa
China, probably Guangdong Province
Southern Song or Yuan dynasty, mid-13th–mid-14th century
Stoneware with iron glaze
41.6 cm (h)