Large shallow ‘rice cake flower’ porcelain bowl 

Late Ming dynasty, China (17th century) 

Donated by the Homma family

This is a large, shallow “rice cake flower” porcelain bowl, fired at the Zhangzhou kilns during the late Ming dynasty. 

“Mochi hana-te” or “rice cake flower” refers to a type of porcelain characterized by a white glaze applied to the base, followed by a glaze of lapis lazuli, and then finished with dotted or drawn floral and plant designs using white glaze. It was so named in Japan for its striking pattern, which resembles mochibana, a New Year’s decoration consisting of white and pink rice cakes wrapped around branches to resemble blossoms. 

While there have been a few examples of such bowls excavated in Japan, this piece is a rare example of an heirloom object.