Raku Tannyu (1795 - 1854), Japan, c. 1818-1842
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague
This tea bowl was made by Raku Tannyu, a member of the tenth generation of Raku family potters. Raku pottery is hand-shaped, not thrown on a wheel. It is made of clay mixed with grit. This type of rustic-looking earthenware with cracked and irregular glazes was popular for use in the tea ceremony. The thickness of the bowls kept the tea warm.
The only decoration on this bowl is an image of a tiger. This shows that the bowl must have been made in a year assigned to this animal: 1818, 1830 or 1842.