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Wooden Box (Ki-Bako)

Historically, wooden boxes were made to safely store ceramic Japanese tea ceremony ware like tea bowl, tea caddy, as well as flower vase when not in use. The box also serves to identify the owner and maker of the tea ware, which when passed on to various owners, serves to authenticate its provenance.

A common misconception is believing all Japanese pottery comes with a wooden box. In fact, museums in Japan are full of priceless historic pottery that never had accompanying wooden boxes. For large sculptural work designed to be displayed, a wooden box is superfluous and distracts from the intent of the artist. Many contemporary Japanese ceramists intend their works to stand on their own and do not provide wooden boxes.
Unfortunately, foreigners' fascination with the wooden box has created a marketing ploy. Some dealers would make wooden boxes for artists who don't provide one with their work. Worse, some mediocre works are sold on the fascination of accompanying wooden boxes.

Touching Stone Gallery honors the tradition. All tea bowls and tea ware exhibited in our gallery come with signed wooden boxes. For sculptural work, if the artist does not provide a wooden box, we do not recommend to order one in respect for the artist.


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