Set of five Utsutsugawa ware boat-shaped dishes with design of waves and reeds

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

  • Period

  • Geography

    Isahaya, Nagasaki prefecture, Japan
  • Material

    Brown stoneware with white slip, iron and cobalt pigments under clear glaze
  • Dimension

    H x W x D (.1): 4.1 x 14.6 x 10.9 cm (1 5/8 x 5 3/4 x 4 5/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Five rectangular shape dishes with scalloped edges (cut away by hand from the wheel-thrown shape) that seem to refer to a particular type of lacquered box with such corners. The dappled pattern was created by applying liquid slip using a soft, flat brush. Graceful blue lines are painted with cobalt (possibly dissolved in white slip to give a milky quality).
    Design of autumn grasses.
    The set of dishes is contained in a recently-made wooden box, tied with a dark blue cord, that was made to hold them. The top of the lid bears an ink inscription: "Utsutsugawa...mukozuke." A paper cover protecting the lid is made from the January page of a 1988 calendar. The plain back of the page, facing outward, bears an ink inscription in a different hand from that of the box lid: "Utsutsugawa / funagata mukozuke [boat-shaped individual serving dishes]...go kyaku [five guests]."
  • Provenance

    Private Japanese collection [1]
    To 1999
    Sebastian Izzard, New York, to 1999
    From 1999
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Sebastian Izzard in 1999
    [1] The set of objects comes in a modern Japanese box indicating that it was formerly in a private Japanese collection (according to Curatorial Note 6, Louise A. Cort, September 28, 1999, in the object record).
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Cornucopia: Ceramics of Southern Japan (December 19, 2009 to January 9, 2011)
    Dinner for Five: Japanese Serving Dishes for Elegant Meals (March 4 to October 21, 2001)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Sebastian Izzard Asian Art LLC
  • Origin

    Isahaya, Nagasaki prefecture, Japan
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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