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Hexagonal kettle (kama), approx. 1500–1700

Hexagonal kettle (kama)

Hexagonal kettle (kama) with design of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, by Seishin (Japanese), approx. 1500-1700. Japan; Kyoto. Iron, copper alloys. The Avery Brundage Collection, B69M11.A-.B.

This iron kettle is used to heat water for making tea. Its unusual hexagonal shape bears a design of an ancient Chinese legend. The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove were a group of Taoist scholars and musicians in the third century who gathered together in a bamboo forest. In this natural setting, away from the constraints of politics and society, they were able to drink and converse freely without concern for worldly matters.

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