A Black Raku Tea Bowl by “Rakuen”


A black Raku ceremonial tea bowl displaying an excellent patina bestowed by time. The light colored clay peeks through in areas giving this piece a unique feel. Though the box is signed by the artist known as Rakuen, details on this particular potter seem to be lost to time. Condition of the box and the look of the tea bowl suggest a date of produced sometime in late Edo to Meiji (100-200 year ago).

In excellent condition, this tea bowl is 4.3 inches in diameter at its widest point (11 cm) and stands 3.2 inches tall (8 cm). The Chinese character for “Raku” used on the box and on the tea bowl is somewhat stylized and differs from the usual appearance however, the signature clearly reads “Rakuen,” which, can be translated in English as “paradise.” Though we were not able to track down the exact maker, we can say that whoever crafted this bowl had a high degree of skill and that this work speaks for itself.