Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Over the years I have seen a number of these carved, three piece tea caddies, both simply executed and carved to varying degrees. They seem rather prevalent during the Meiji Period and continue to be carved to this very day. Of all the ones I have seen, this one strikes me as a bit unique being heavily carved over most of the form with deep relief flowers with virtually no damage despite the fragile nature of some of the carving. Carved out of a single piece of wood, the caddy is wrapped, seductively, in flowers and leaves that bring the eye entirely around the form and give a rather pleasant feel when held in the hand. I am not sure as to the utility of these particular tea caddies in formal chanoyu, but as an experiment a while back, I placed loose tea inside and put it up on a shelf for nearly two months and the tea that emerged were still fresh and perfectly usable. The combination of beauty and utility makes the piece that much more special and a wonderful object to enjoy on a shelf or on the table ready for tea.

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