Tea masters often burn incense to mask the smell of charcoal from the hearth prior to their guests' arrival. They store precious pieces of rare aromatic wood such as camphor and sandlewood used for this purpose in small lacquer or ceramic boxes. Particularly beautiful boxes may be displayed in the tokonoma (alcove) within the tearoom for the guests' enjoyment. Nonomura Ninsei, one of Japan's most renowned potters, fashioned this box in the shape of a rooster. Ninsei's innovative designs and superb craftsmanship are thought to have revolutionized "tea taste" in the late 17th century--moving it away from the rough, often ponderous style preferred at the turn of the century toward one of greater elegance and refinement.