This tea bowl is a fantastic example of kintsugi, the Japanese way of repairing and preserving valuable ceramics by reattaching broken parts with natural lacquer (sap from the lacquer tree) and highlighting rather than hiding the repair. After reattaching the parts a thin line of lacquer is applied along the cracks and over missing parts and, while the lacquer is still wet, sprinkled with gold powders. When the lacquer has dried, the gold is polished.
The bowl has an unusually complete set of custom packaging: cotton cushion, silk brocade pouch with string, lacquered paulownia-wood storage box, wrapping cloth, and paper label.
The bowl is named: Aonori (=green laver, which is used in Japan to make dried sea weed). The name was probably inspired by the tea bowl's attractive olive-green glaze. The name is written in takamaki-e high-relief gold lacquer on the box lid and also written on one side of the paper string label.
The attached paper fragment on the box reads “Number 78,” which probably refers to the collector's inventory number.