• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7553

    The Bob Moore Collection of Japanese Art and Design

    5 - 7 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 20

    A Negoro washbasin

    MOMOYAMA PERIOD (16TH CENTURY)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A Negoro washbasin
    Momoyama Period (16th century)
    Of turned and assembled wood with a flat base, the exterior with a decorative band, resting on three outward facing feet, the rim and legs in red lacquer, the interior, sides and undersides lacquered black
    39.5cm. diam.


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    In Buddhist temples the fusatsu ceremony is held on the fifteenth day of each month as an act of repentance for sins and errors committed during the previous month. This formal basin, or tarai, sometimes also known as fusatsu tearai, would have held the water for participants to wash their hands during the ceremony, forming a set with the shukindai, a small rack on which hand-towels were hung.

    A few basins without feet have been preserved at temples in and around Nara, such as Horyuji and Todaiji, but most medieval vessals of this type are stabilised by adding three powerful neko-ashi ['cat's-paw' feet]. When the basin is placed on a flat surface the three feet would probably have helped to improve the flow of air around the liquid and to protect the vessel from damage.

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