A 12th century stoneware jar from the ancient Tokoname kiln, on offer at Simon Pilling.

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Its products were often misshapen, such as this 12th century stoneware jar, which was used to store grain. The shoulder is encrusted with kutsuki or kiln debris, and there are drips down the surface from the natural ash glaze.

It is one of the highlights in Simon Pilling’s exhibition Kogei no bi: the beauty of craft, celebrating the quality and variety of various traditional Japanese techniques. Works in the show are priced at £1500-25,000.

Though it has clearly been broken with one part destroyed, the jar in question reflects another Japanese technique: gintsugi, which is the practice of repairing broken ceramics using lacquer decorated with silver makie finish.

The technique is said to date from the 15th century when Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, disliking the Chinese repair method of metal staples, had his craftsman search for a more sensitive solution.