Incense Box (Kogo_) in the Shape of a Rooster
On View In:
Gallery 224
Artist:   Ninsei Nonomura  
Title:   Incense Box (Kogo_) in the Shape of a Rooster  
Date:   c. 1665  
Medium:   Stoneware with overglaze enamels  
Dimensions:   2 7/8 x 1 1/2 x 2 5/8 in. (7.3 x 3.8 x 6.7 cm)  
Credit Line:   The Putnam Dana McMillan Fund, The Louis W. Hill, Jr. Fund and gift of the Asian Art Council  
Location:   Gallery 224  

Tea masters often burn incense to mask the smell of charcoal from the hearth prior to their guests' arrival. They store precious pieces of rare aromatic wood such as camphor and sandlewood used for this purpose in small lacquer or ceramic boxes. Particularly beautiful boxes may be displayed in the tokonoma (alcove) within the tearoom for the guests' enjoyment. Nonomura Ninsei, one of Japan's most renowned potters, fashioned this box in the shape of a rooster. Ninsei's innovative designs and superb craftsmanship are thought to have revolutionized "tea taste" in the late 17th century--moving it away from the rough, often ponderous style preferred at the turn of the century toward one of greater elegance and refinement.

Name:   Nonomura, Ninsei  
Role:   Maker  
Life Dates:   active second half 17th century  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Inscription illegible inscription, incised, on bottom  
Classification:   Ceramics  
Physical Description:   seated rooster, with feathers in red, black, green and blue glaze and gilt  
Creation Place:   Asia, Japan, , ,  
Accession #:   2000.141a,b  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts