Tea bowl with design of mountain retreat

Gold lacquer repair.
Clay: hard, fine. Stoneware.
Glaze: cream, finely crackled.
Decoration: white slip with iron and impure cobalt under glaze. Pavilion and landscape.

Maker(s)
Artist: Ogata Ihachi (Kyoto Kenzan II) (active 1720-1760)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid 18th century
Medium
Stoneware with white slip, iron and cobalt pigments under clear glaze; gold lacquer repairs
Dimensions
H x W: 7.3 x 10 cm (2 7/8 x 3 15/16 in)
Geography
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1896.99
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Tea bowl

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, lacquer repair, landscape, mountain, pavilion, tea
Provenance

To 1896
Yamanaka & Company, New York to 1896 [1]

From 1896 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1896 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 481, 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)

Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919

Description

Gold lacquer repair.
Clay: hard, fine. Stoneware.
Glaze: cream, finely crackled.
Decoration: white slip with iron and impure cobalt under glaze. Pavilion and landscape.

Label

The poem reads: "In tranquility, the universe is great." The conflation of a vast entity with a small bounded space is a common theme in Zen poetry, and ultimately derives from the early and influential Daoist test Zhuangzi (ca. 3d century B.C.E.) A ceramic prototype with this expression can be seen in kosometsuke, the late-Ming cobalt-decorated porcelains imported into Japan in the early-Edo period. Here, since half the poem is on the outside and half on the inside, the full measure of the verse--and its relation to the enclosed space of the vessel, which "becomes" the universe in metaphor--is revealed either through drinking or otherwise handling the bowl. Serious poetic appreciation thus merges into mischievous "parlor" humor, with parallels in painted sake cups that reveal comical faces or other figures as they are tipped.

Published References
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. p. 65, fig. 4.
  • Beatrice Hohenegger. Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West., 1st ed. New York. p. 274.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum