Posted 6 months ago
These tea cups are just under 3.5" high x 3" wide at the top, so just about the size of an average Japanese yunomi. They are unmarked, so probably considered to be mingei-ware. They were imported from Japan by the Kotobuki Trading Company of San Francisco. Each cup is hand made and imperfect with pretty well done glazes. One cup has a small sharp inclusion in the glaze. The Kotobuki Trading Company was founded in 1976 by a Japanese American couple and is still in business. This boxed set is not in their current inventory. I have sent them an email to see if they can identify which pottery, or potteries, made these cups (See response below!).
I have been keeping my eye out for some Japanese tea cups for every day use and found these for $4, possibly new in the box. Hard to say for certain as the cups show no wear, though the box shows some signs of the cups being removed and returned several times. Possibly a display set. These normally go for about $40, so I was happy to find them. They are very pleasing to hold and use, well shaped and pretty. Not sure how old they are. I suspect post-2000.
Response from Kotobuki Trading Company regarding the maker of these cups:
"The cups are made by a large kiln in Mino, Japan. We chose the four different glazes and combined them into a set. I'm sorry I cannot share with you the name of the kiln or the exact location."
So all cups are from the same kiln. Many thanks to the Kotobuki Trading Company for providing this information!