The Art of Tea.

A collection of tea cups, tea Scrolls, Tea Pots, Tea Caddy's and items for drinking tea.




















Japanese KOHIKI Tea Cups

The Kiri Bako (box) says pair of tea cups (yunomi), the first line says Konahiki which  is a Japanese ceramic.
Although the dictionary meaning is a white ceramic, in this case the ceramic is stoneware.

Signed with the name Hidetoshi and stamped underneath

Period 20

Kohiki is a type of high-fired stoneware characterized by a simple ash slip
   over an iron-rich body.  It was first produced by Korean potters in Japan
in the 1500s, and its simple, unadorned beauty was highly regarded among
the busho chajin, or warrior tea men, who sometimes were rewarded for their loyalty with kohiki tea bowls.This set of cups and plates has a delicate Sakura-Cherry blossom- flush through the mottled cream glaze. The chrysanthemum stamp is originally a design from the Royal Household but used in certain Samurai families and I believe that  this one is from the
Ryûzôji clan. This set possesses all the unrefined simplicity of the kohiki wares of old.



Japanese Kohiki Tea Cups and plates £125
inc Post

18thC Chinese porcelain tea bowls


This box is made of kiri wood (paulownia wood).. It is very light but very strong; kiri boxes have been used in Japan for many centuries.
The box was made in Japan by the Hakoyoshi Company, maker of high quality kiri boxes since the end of the 19th century.
Each box is new and in perfect condition
Dimension: 8.2 cm x 8.2 cm x 8.8 cm; inside 7.3 cm x 7.3 cm x 8.1 cm (3.3 in x 3.3 in x 3.5 in; inside 2.9 in x 2.9 in x 3.2 in)


Japanese Kutani Tea cups. Splashed gold on landscapes of Fujisan.
With artists box . A superb design of great quality. Better images will soon be put up


Sen No Rikyu;

Sen no Rikyu (千利休; 1522 - April 21, 1591) is the historical figure considered to have had the most profound influence on the Japanese tea ceremony. Rikyu was also a member of the inner circles of the powerful Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. A man of simple taste, he lived a cultivated and disciplined lifestyle and defined the term wabi cha by emphasizing simple, rustic, humble qualities in the tea ceremony, which had been revolutionized by Ikkyu and his disciple Murata Shuko a century earlier. Sen no Rikyu’s first documented name was Yoshiro, later changed to Soueki. In 1585 a special tea ceremony was held to celebrate the inauguration of Toyotomi Hideyoshi as Kanpaku. On this occasion, Rikyu was given the special Buddhist name “Rikyu kojigou” by Emperor Ogimachi, and eventually became the supreme tea master. Three of the best-known schools of tea ceremony—the Urasenke, Omotesenke and Mushanokōjisenke—originated from Sen no Rikyu and his descendants via his second wife. A fourth school is called Sakaisenke.


Before and after

Chajin-The tea master. This is a short of Sen no Rikyu scroll dating from around 1860. I have recently restored this with new silk mounts in Grey(not blue) and made a beautiful box in Antique Kimono Silk with a Fan pattern, £175



Click to see Scroll Box






Traditional High-quality Urushi Laquer Hadai Stand
For use with Sakazuki Sake Bowls

Decorated with auspicious symbols
Cloud-shaped drainage slits
With removable lid
Two-piece construction

Age Approx:
Meiji, (C1880s-1900) £160

Lacquered Tea Tray 24.5cm x 24cm - 9.6 x 9.4 inches. Good condition.

The family crest is Otani.

We have made a special Antique silk covered
Box specially for this wonderful table £180 inc post



Traditional High-quality Urushi Laquer Stand
For use with Sakazuki Sake Bowls

Decorated with auspicious symbols
Cloud-shaped drainage slits
Age Approx:
Meiji, (C1880s-1900)




Chinese Tea Pot

Unusual patterns in tea pots £40 each




The top dark brown tea pot is £30

On the right is a very old Chinese YI-HSING teapot in Red Clay (sold)

The bottom pot is extremely rare and dates from 19th century £75

Bamboo shaped Teapot £45

Small hand made tea pots by a famous maker £80 each

Yixing clay teapots (simplified Chinese: 宜兴; traditional Chinese: 宜興; pinyin: Yíxīng; Wade–Giles: I-Hsing) (also called Purple Sand (simplified Chinese: 紫砂; pinyin: zǐshā; Wade–Giles: tsu sha) are made from Yixing clay. This traditional style commonly used to brew tea originated in China, dating back to the 15th century, and are made from clay produced in the region of the town of Yixing in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu.
Yíxīng teapots are not actually made in the regional city of Yíxīng, but rather in nearby Dīngshān, also known as Dingshu, which falls within the administrative area of Yixing. Hundreds of teapot shops line the edges of the town's crowded streets and it is a popular tourist destination for many Chinese. While Dīngshān is home to dozens of ceramics factories, Yíxīng Zǐshā Factory Number 1, which opened in 1958, processes a large part of the clay used in the region, produces fine pottery ware, and has a large commercial showroom. In addition to the better known teapots, frescoes, oil and grain jars, flower vases, figurines, glazed tiling, tables, ornamental rocks, and even ornamental waste bins are all manufactured in the community.
Yixing teapots are meant for use with black and oolong teas, as well as aged pǔ’ěr tea. They can also be used for green or white tea, but the water must be allowed to cool to around 85 degrees Celsius before pouring the water into the pot. Yixing teapots absorb a tiny amount of tea into the pot during brewing. After prolonged use, the pot will develop a coating that retains the flavor and color of the tea. It is for this reason that soap should not be used to clean Yixing teapots. Instead, it should be rinsed with fresh water and allowed to air-dry. A studious tea connoisseur will only steep one type of tea in a particular pot, so as not to corrupt the flavor that has been absorbed.

Traditionally, some Chinese would pour the tea from the spout directly into their mouths.

Yixing teapots are smaller then their western counterparts as the tea is often brewed for only a few seconds before it is served to guests. Reusing the same tea leaves multiple times, the first brew of the tea leaf is usually used only to clean tea, teapot, and cups and is not to be consumed. Chinese people traditionally drink from cups that hold less then one ounce of liquid and are simply repeatedly filled so that they may cool rapidly but can be ingested before the tea becomes cold.



Tea spoon holder, hand made Scottish Ceramic 20th Century £35




The carved lacquer of China (diaoqi) is particularly noteworthy. In this the lacquer was built up to a considerable thickness. When several colours were used, successive layers of each colour of uniform thickness were arranged in the order in which they were to predominate. When the whole mass was complete and homogeneous, it was cut back from the surface to expose each colour as required by the design. When the lacquer was cold and hard, the carving was done with a V-shaped tool kept very sharp. The cutting was done with amazing precision—no correction of faults was possible, for each layer had to be exactly and accurately reached and the final result precisely foreseen from the beginning of the work. The red lacquer (tihong), so well known and justly appreciated, was coloured with cinnabar (red mercuric sulphide). Other colours include a deep and a lighter olive green, buff, brown, black, and purple (aubergine). This is a Cinnabar Red base with a Black top layer. Very elegant

Carved Stone wear Tea Cup £35

Green Nephrite Translucent Jade Tea Cup £55

This is a tea bowl with a wonderful gold plum blossom pattern and inside there are numerous poems in Kanji. Slight 'glaze' crack on inside but not through the bowl and it holds tea very well. Very rare tea bowl and it comes with a Kiri Box £110

Beautiful Japanese tea bowl with gold highlights , signed and with Kiri Box £130


American Potter Roland Folse created these Tea Cups. Quiet beautiful Glazes, I hope to be able to supply some of these rare Tea Cups in the future

Tea bowls with box and papers by Mizuno Hiroshi.a famous master ceramicist in Tokoname £195 each

Profile of Mizuno Hiroshi below


Profile of Mizuno Hiroshi

Two quite amazingly beautiful tea cups in their original artists signed boxes with their papers handcrafted in Tokoname, Japan by the renowned potter Mizuno Hiroshi.£195 each.

Hiroshi learned his craft from Yamada Jozan III, a National Living Treasure.In 1998 Yamada Jozan(1994-2005) was designated a Living National Treasure for his graceful Tokoname kyusu small tea pots.

Tokoname: Amongst Japan's six ancient kilns (Seto, Shigaraki, Echizen, Tanba, Bizen and Tokoname), Tokoname is said to be the largest and oldest.

Tokoname is a small city, situated in central Japan (right next to the newly built Centrair airport). Most of the houses in the historical area were traditionally painted black, so that they did not show the dirt from kiln fumes. It is said that Tokoname people did not realize that sparrows weren't black until they went to the next town and saw their true colour. Nowadays, the black fumes which used to envelop the town are no longer evident., but the atmosphere and character of Tokoname heyday lives on.

Profile of Mizuno Hiroshi

1950 - Born in Tokoname 1971 - Became apprenticed to Yamada Jozan III (till 1974)
1979 - Awarded a prize at Chunichi International Ceramics Exhibition
1980 - Awarded a prize at Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition
Awarded a prize at Chunichi International Ceramics Exhibition
Selected for Faenza International Ceramic Crafts Competition, Italy

1982 - Awarded a prize at Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition
Awarded a prize at Chunichi International Ceramics Exbition

1983 - Awarded a prize at Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition
1985 - Awarded a “Crafts prize” at Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition
Awarded a “Fine Work prize” at Kanazawa International Design Fair

1989 - Awarded a prize at Traditional Ceramic Ware’89 Mino Exhibition
1990 - Awarded a prize at Itami Craft Exhibition
1992 - Awarded a prize at Traditional Ceramic Ware’92 Mino Exhibition
Invited to exhibit at Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition

1993 - Awarded a prize at ‘93 Craft Competition in Takaoka
2005 - Awarded a prize at ‘05 Craft Competition in Takaoka
Awarded the “Craft Center prize” at Japanese Crafts - Hands - Another life exhibition
He has been awarded prizes at Tokai Traditional Crafts Exhibition - 6 times.
He also holds private exhibitions throughout Japan


The Sen No Rikyu Scroll comes with the period box. The scroll ends are lacquered Black. A very fine scroll that has probably been rarely hung. In excellent condition. £155

Including Box.



The great Tea Master Sen no Rikyu

During the reign of Toyotomi Hideyoshi the Tea Ceremony  became popular in Japan. Sen no Rikyu(千利休,1522-1591) is the person who established the Japanese Tea Ceremony. He was the one that made the art of making tea into a national art form.. Rikyu synthesized a unique way of life, combining the everyday aspects of living with the highest spiritual and philosophical tenets. This has been passed down to the present as the “Way of Tea.” Hideyoshi was entranced with the ceremony and gave Rikyu an estate. But that did not prevent Hideyoshi from ordering Sen no Rikyu, the great master of the Japanese tea ceremony to commit ritual suicide ("seppuku") in 1591.

Rikyu was born in Sakai in 1522. His father, Tanaka Yōhei (田中与 兵衛 / 田中 與兵衞) was a wealthy warehouse owner in the fish wholesale business, and his mother was Tomomi Tayuki (宝心 妙樹). His childhood name, as the eldest son, was Yoshiro (later Rikyu). Sakai is located on the edge of Osaka Bay at the mouth of the Yamato River, which connected the Yamato region (now Nara Prefecture) to the sea. Sakai thus became a link between foreign trade and inland trade, and merchant citizens ran the city. In those days it was said that the richest cities were Umi Sakai, Riku Imai (tr. "along the sea, Sakai, inlands Imai").

The famous Zen Buddhist priest Ikkyu (一休宗純 Ikkyū Sōjun) (1394-1481) chose to live in Sakai because of its free atmosphere. Ikkyu was an eccentric, iconoclastic Japanese Zen Buddhist priest and poet. He was also one of the creators of the formal Japanese tea ceremony. Because of the close relationship between the tea ceremony and Zen Buddhism, and because of the prosperity of its citizens, Sakai became one of the main centers for the tea ceremony in Japan.

In 1538, at an early age, Yoshiro began his study of tea. His first teacher was Kitamuki Dochin (北向道陳) who taught tea in the traditional style suited to the shoin (a drawing room in the traditional Japanese architecture) reception room. In 1540 Rikyu started to learn from Takeno Jo-o (武野紹鴎), who is associated with the development of the wabi aesthetic in tea ceremony, a new style featuring a small, thatched tea house. Kitamuki Dochin (北向道陳) and Takeno Jo-o(武野紹鴎)were both famous tea masters and wealthy merchants in Sakai. Takeno Jo-o developed Wabi-cha, which had been begun by Murata Shuko (村田珠光)、and initiated Rikyu in the new tradition.

Rikyu, like Shuko and Jo-o, also underwent Zen training at Daitoku-ji, a temple in northwest Kyoto that had a long tradition of the tea ceremony. Thereafter, he changed his name to Sen Soueki, taking the family name of Sen from his grandfather's name, Sen-ami.

It was then that Rikyu composed the poem that dates from that time: "Though many people drink tea, if you do not know the Way of Tea, tea will drink you up." The meaning is that without any spiritual training, you think you are drinking tea, but actually tea drinks you up.

Rikyu synthesized a unique way of life, combining the everyday aspects of living with the highest spiritual and philosophical tenets. This has been passed down to the present as the “Way of Tea.”

At the end of sixteenth century the tea ceremony was prevalent, centering on Sakai. The important merchants of Sakai were collecting prestigious tea implements and enjoying new styles of the tea ceremony. At that time Oda Nobunaga banished the Murimachi shogunate of Ashikaga Yoshimasa from Kyoto. This was the era in which Oda Nobunaga’s political and military power was unifying the nation. Nobunaga recognized the popularity of the tea ceremony, and he also began to study and participate in the tea ceremony. It is thought that around 1573 Rikyu was invited to be the Master of Tea Ceremony for Nobunaga. Nobunaga allowed his followers to do the tea ceremony, and it became a rite of the Samurai (warriors). Nobunaga’s political strategy was named ochanoyu goseido (the tea ceremony policy). Nobunaga also emphasized the collection of special tea implements; if his followers rendered distinguished services they received these valuable items as rewards. Receiving such a gift was considered as honorable as being named a feudal lord.

In 1578 Rikyu’s wife, Houshin Myoujyu, died; he later married a second wife, Shushin. The Incident at Honnōji (本能寺の変Honnōji-no-hen), on June 21, 1582, resulted in the forced suicide of Oda Nobunaga at the hands of his samurai general Akechi Mitsuhide. This occurred in Honnoji, a temple in Kyoto, ending Nobunaga's quest to consolidate centralized power in Japan under his authority. After the death of Nobunaga, Rikyu became the head tea master of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the de facto successor of Nobunaga. Hideyoshi continued Nobunaga's policy and unified Japan after several years of civil war.

Ostensibly in charge of tea, Rikyu wielded great influence over Hideyoshi in other matters as well. When Hideyoshi hosted a tea at the Imperial Palace in 1585, Rikyu received the Buddhist title of koji from the Emperor Ogimachi, thus establishing his prominence among the practitioners of tea in Japan. We can understand Rikyu’s position from a letter written by Otomo Sorin, who was a powerful feudal lord at that time. Sorin wrote, “Hideyoshi’s private secretary at the window was Rikyu and Hideyoshi’s official secretary at the window was the general Hidenaga (Hideyoshi’s step brother).” This means that Rikyu occupied the position closest to Hideyoshi and controlled who had access to him, while Hideyoshi’s brother-in-law only acted in an official capacity. From this we can appreciate the magnitude of the political power held by Rikyu in Hideyoshi’s administration.

Around this period Rikyu moved his residence from Sakai to Kyoto, lived on the premises in front of Daitoku-ji temple and set up a tea room named Fushinan, which became the base for his tea ceremony activities and for the schools he established.

In 1585 a special tea ceremony was held to celebrate the inauguration of Toyotomi Hideyoshi as Kanpaku (the regent or the chief adviser to the Emperor). Hideyoshi performed the tea ceremony for Emperor Ogimachi, with Rikyu as his on-stage assistant. On this occasion Rikyu was given the special Buddhist name “Rikyu kojigou” by Emperor Ogimachi and, in both name and reality, Rikyu became the supreme tea master.

In 1587 when Hideyoshi attacked Shimazu, the feudal lord in Kyushu (southern part of Japan), Rikyu accompanied him. He held several tea ceremonies in Kyushu and worked to establish a cultural and political exchange with the wealthy and powerful business people of Kyushu, such as Kamiya Sotan and Shimai Soshitsu.

Then a lavish palace called the Jurakudai or Jurakutei (聚楽第) was constructed in Kyoto by the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Construction began in 1586, when Hideyoshi had taken the post of Kanpaku, and required 19 months for completion. The location is in present-day Kamigyō, on the site where the Imperial palace had stood during the Heian period. Rikyu was also given a residence nearby. Hideyoshi hosted a large tea ceremony party at the precinct of Kitano Tenman-gū (北野天満宮), a Shinto shrine in Kyoto.

During this time, Chanoyu (tea ceremony) came into contact with Christianity. Many missionaries came to Sakai and Kyoto, where they befriended Rikyu and the other teachers of tea. Among the seven principle students of Rikyu were three devout Christians: Furuta Oribe, Takayama Ukon, and Gamou Ujisato.

It was during his later years that Rikyu began to use very tiny, rustic tearooms, such as the two-tatami (Japanese mat) tearoom named Taian, which can be seen today at Myokian temple in Yamazaki, a suburb of Kyoto. This tea room has been declared a national treasure. He also developed many implements for tea ceremony, including flower containers, tea scoops, and lid rests made of bamboo, and also used everyday objects for the tea ceremony, often in novel ways. In addition, he pioneered the use of Raku tea bowls and had a preference for simple, rustic items made in Japan, rather than the expensive Chinese-made items that were fashionable at the time.

Although Rikyu had once been one of Hideyoshi's closest confidants, for reasons which remain unknown, Hideyoshi ordered him to commit ritual suicide, which he did at his Jurakudai residence in Kyoto on February 28, 1591, at the age of seventy. Rikyu's grave is located at Jukoin temple in the Daitokuji compound in Kyoto; his posthumous Buddhist name is Fushin'an Rikyu Soeki Koji.

Memorials for Rikyu are observed annually by many schools of Japanese tea ceremony. The Urasenke School’s memorial takes place each year on March 28.