This ewer, with a lid knob in the shape of a dog, is one of the tea utensils used during tea ceremonies. It is filled with indigo blue patterns which are created via the sometsuke technique. To use sometsuke, one paints a design in cobalt-based pigments on a white pottery base, coating it with transparent glaze, then puts it over a flame that produces vivid indigo patterns.
The creator, Sawada Shunzan, was a potter in Kyoto. He was summoned by the feudal lord of the Fukuoka domain in 1860 for the revival of Sue ware. The refined appearance of this piece shows his style of work.