This delightful teacup is decorated with a whimsical transfer print of tree branches laden with fruit. The cup is bell-shaped, making it very easy to hold. Its curvaceous silhouette is also well-suited to accentuate the arched shapes of the trailing tree branches. A subtle band of light green circles the cup’s foot, giving ‘heft’ to the bottom of the cup and balancing out the design. A slender band of blue adorned with fruit just below the rim adds visual interest to the cup’s interior.
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 most other materials. Many consider porcelain to be the ideal material for steeping all types of tea. Since it is fired at a high temperature in the kiln, the glaze bonds with the clay and does not ride on the surface as it does with some ceramics. This gives porcelain cups durability, a thin wall and elegant shape that is light in the hand.
Mino ware is the broad term for stoneware and porcelain ceramics produced in the area of Japan formerly known as Mino Province (southern modern-day Gifu Prefecture). Originally Mino ware was famous for four unique styles of glazed stoneware: Ki-Seto, Setoguro, Oribe and Shino. While these styles are still produced, contemporary Mino ware is dominated by a wide array of porcelain ceramics. Currently, more than half of Japan’s tableware comes from this region.
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.
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