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Kettle for informal tea

British Museum

British Museum

There were two kinds of kettles used for the Japanese Tea Ceremony - the massive cast iron chagama used for formal events, and the more decorative type with an up-and-over handle, used for less formal or outdoor Tea Ceremonies.

The body of the kettle is cast in two halves. The lower half is roughly textured like the true chagama, while the upper half is burnished and inlaid with a grapevine pattern in gold and silver. This technique was more often used for armour, sword fittings and firearms. The copper lid is impressed Ryūbundō. This was a firm of nineteenth-century iron-casters who seem to have made the lids for fitting to kettles made by other makers. The lid has a gilt-copper knob.

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  • Title: Kettle for informal tea
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 12.2 centimetres (excl. handle)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: inlaid; cast
  • Registration number: 1969,0925.1.a-b
  • Production place: Made in Japan
  • Producer: Made by: Ryubundo
  • Period/culture: Edo Period
  • Material: silver; iron; gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from: C W Fairbrother
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