Rectangular dish with design of iris

Tray, oblong, in the shape of a poetry card (tanzaku) [Jpn].
Brilliant cream-white, crackled, lead glaze with rich violet-blue and emerald-green underglaze.

Maker(s)
Artist: Ogata Ihachi (Kyoto Kenzan II) (active 1720-1760)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid 18th century
Medium
White clay with enamels and iron pigment under transparent lead glaze
Dimensions
H x W x D: 42.5 x 8.2 x 2.4 cm (16 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 15/16 in)
Geography
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1896.56a-c
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Container
Type

Tray (tanzaku)

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), iris, Japan, poems
Provenance

To 1896
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1896 [1]

From 1896 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1896 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Pottery List, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Bunkio Matsuki (C.L. Freer source) 1867-1940

Description

Tray, oblong, in the shape of a poetry card (tanzaku) [Jpn].
Brilliant cream-white, crackled, lead glaze with rich violet-blue and emerald-green underglaze.

Label

The analogue for this shape is a paper strip called tanzaku, used for inscribing poems. "Tanzaku dishes" were made by the first Kenzan throughout his career. Those, however, are inscribed with poetry while this piece is painted. The theme, as indicated by the motif of iris, is the "eight bridges" from the Tales of Ise.  In this context, the rectangular dish could also be interpreted as one of the planks of the bridge across the iris swamp.

Published References
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 49, p. 128.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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