A rich black glaze covers this Kasama-yaki jar from the late 19th C. It is in the shape of a "natsume," a tea powder caddy used in the tea ceremony. H.21.5cm (8.5") Body Dia.16cm (6.25".) Kasama wares currently do not enjoy the fame of pots from nearby Mashiko. But Kasama, in neighboring Ibaraki Prefecture about 30 minutes away by car, preceeded Mashiko in being a ceramic production center by nearly a century, and had a hand in training the early Mashiko potters. Though most Kasama wares were, like Mashiko wares, utilitarian items such as storage jars, grinding bowls, etc.; this piece has a more elegant appearance while still retaining some of the Kasama ruggedness. The "natsume" shape suggests that it may have been used for flowers in the tokonoma during tea ceremony, possibly by one of the upper-class merchants of Kasama.