Also popular with collectors are Seto andonzara (lamp plates) that were once used under lamps and candles. Most often plain, they are occasionally found with boldly painted floral or kanji motifs, and the best examples —reminiscent of Matisse drawings — can be very pricey indeed. In the center of these, as well as umanome plates, are unglazed spots where ceramic cones were placed during the firing process. Cheap and plentiful in their day, the plates were simply stacked up, one on top of the other, in the kiln.
Seto is one of the oldest kilns in Japan, dating back at least to the Nara era (710-794). The exact date of origin is not known, but records describing what are thought to be Seto containers appear in important historical books and documents of the time. By the Heian era, we know that ash glazes were used, and by the Kamakura era, iron glazes were used. Later, in the Momoyama era, porcelain was adopted, and up to this day it is the main type produced in Seto. However, in the Akazu area of Seto city, clay is used.
We have a limited quantity of Seto ware at our Japanese tableware gallery, Mizuya.