The ewer was used to pour water for washing the hands and face into the basin. Records from the Heian period indicate that the shape hardly changed at all until the early modern period. These pieces are particularly valuable because they have been passed down as a set. Both pieces are black lacquer. The flanks are decorated with chrysanthemum, Chinese bellflower, Patrinia, Dianthus, pampas grass, bush clover and other autumn flowers executed in hiramaki-e goldwork, harigaki engraving, and e-nashiji, use of the nashiji or pearskin technique of sprinkling the surface with coarse gold flakes, to create motifs. An ornamental border encircles the foot on both pieces. Metal fittings with arabesque on a nanakoji background, so named for its resemblance to fish roe, are mounted on the handles of the four-handled basin and the spout of the ewer.