Imari ware porcelain soba choko with underglaze cobalt blue pattern of "azami" (thistle.) Mid-late Edo Period (1600-1868.) H.6cm (2.3") Dia.7cm (2.6"). Weight 125g. A playful rendering of a thistle adorns both sides of this soba choko, with bands around the bottom of the cup. Some minor glaze crazing and cracks, but overall fine condition.
Soba choko were initially used for small food items, much like mukozuke or ko-zara are used in today's presentation of Japanese cuisine. Not until later in the Edo Era were they produced exclusively for use as sauce cups for dipping soba noodles. They can still be used to elegantly serve soba or somen noodles, food as a mukozuke dish food or any small food serving, and they are also excellent as tea cups.