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"Baisao, The Old Tea Seller" Maki-e Set of Two Cups

"Baisao, The Old Tea Seller" Maki-e Set of Two Cups



Artist: Takashi WAKAMIYA

Materials: Natural lacquer, wood, tin powder

Size: H80mm x W75mm
Year: 2021


(Original box signed by the artist)



  • This set of two cups celebrates the life Baisaō in the 18th century of Japan who was an influential and unconventional figure in a culturally rich time period in Kyoto. A poet and Buddhist priest, Baisaō left the constrictions of temple life behind and at the age of 49 traveled to Kyoto, where he began to make his living by selling tea on the streets and at scenic places around the city. Yet Baisao dispensed much more than tea: though he would never purport to be a Zen master, his clientele, which consisted of influential artists, poets, and thinkers, considered a trip to his shop as having religious importance. His large bamboo wicker baskets provided Baisao and his customers with an occasion for conversation and poetry, as well as exceptional tea.