This darling porcelain teacup features a wonderful hand-painted floral motif in hallmark Aritaware colors. The artist used a cobalt blue underglaze on which to paint the flowers and later meticulously filled in the background using a rich red overglaze. Underglazing typically involves using pigment to create a design on the clay, then coating the vessel with a transparent glaze, and finally firing the piece. Overglazing involves painting on top of a piece that has already been glazed and fired, then firing it again at a lower temperature. With additional flowers and petals painted on the cups interior, this cup is a visual pleasure from all angles. Even the underside of the footring is decorated!
Masked by the rich decoration on the cup’s outer walls are also multiple facet cuts. The edges of theses cuts are soft, so the cup is extremely comfortable in the hand. The cup’s smooth white interior provides the perfect backdrop for appreciating the color of any tea liquor.
This cup is made of porcelain, which is a hard, fine-grained, nonporous ceramic ware. It is very white and unlike most other types of ceramic ware, it is also translucent. This characteristic is of value when steeping tea because it allows a tea enthusiast to discern and appreciate the color of the steeped liquor more easily than do most other materials. Many consider porcelain to be the ideal material for steeping all types of tea. Because it is fired at a high temperature, porcelain is extremely durable. The high-firing process also causes the glaze to bond with the clay instead of riding on the surface as it does with many ceramics.
Arita (sometimes referred to as Imari) is an ancient and very famous pottery region of Japan located on Kyushu Island in the southern portion of the archipelago. Originally Arita ware was known for blue under-glazed and multi-colored over-glazed porcelain. Today, potters make a range of items in porcelain and earthenware that are functional and highly decorated and artistic. Costly pieces that are collected by connoisseurs and museums alike also fall under this same general descriptor.
Slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese tea wares are to be expected. We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently.
Want to know more?