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Seto Horse-eye Plate (uma-no-me zara)

Location

JAPAN

Era

Edo period (1615-1868)

Title

Seto Horse-eye Plate (uma-no-me zara)

Date

Late 18th-early 19th c

Materials

Stoneware, painted decoration in underglaze brown

Dimensions

4.5 cm (h.) (approx.), 26.5 cm (diam.) (approx.)

Credits

Gift of Leo Rosshandler, inv. 2010.572

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

These heavily potted stoneware plates with bold oval-shaped patterns are known as uma-no-me zara (horse-eye plates). Painted in underglaze iron pigments on a crackled ground, the patterns symbolize energy and strength. Horse-eye plates were made at the Seto kilns in the late Edo period and used as serving plates in restaurants, inns and private homes along the Tokaido Road that linked Edo (present-day Tokyo) to Kyoto. They are the quintessential example of mingei (folk art) pottery.

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