Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Oded Löbl

Pair of covered cups
19th century
Satsuma earthenware
H: 27; Diam: 9 cm
Bequest of Wolf Ladejinsky, Washington, DC, through the America-Israel Cultural Foundation
Accession number: B78.0457(a-b)
Inscription inside: “One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets”

Named after the district in Japan where it is produced, Satsuma earthenware is an elaborately decorated type of ceramic. It is covered with a creamy, finely crackled glaze that serves as a background for minutely painted scenes highlighted by extravagant gilding.

The outside of these cups is painted with depictions of some of the most famous Japanese poets and poetesses. Inside the cups is a selection of poems (Hyakunin-isshu: One Hundred People, One Poem Each), testimony to the calligrapher’s virtuosity.

Bizarre Perfection, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2008

Bizarre Perfection, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 19/12/2008 - 13/06/2009, December 2008 - June 2009

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir