Smio Satou has made a whole lot of superficially classical, but beautifully reinterpreted, bulldogs in his day. This is a great example of that. The gently curving shank hints at a fluidity that one normally doesn't find in this shape, while the squat diamond shape of the shank feels almost spring like, as if it's getting ready to thrust the bowl forward. Similarly, the area below the double-beading is twice the height of the area above it, accentuating that sense of forward and upward motion.
The grain is very good, though it requires a certain close inspection given the dark stain. Interestingly, I find myself leaning towards darker stains lately, especially lustrous, yet understated, reds like this one. While there's something special about a lighter or contrast stain that accentuates the grain, there's definitely something to be said for the more muted, understated, but perhaps no less beautiful darker hues. And, paired with this seemingly straightforward, but actually very sophisticated, composition, it creates something decidedly special.
-- Sykes Wilford