Satsuma ware tea-ceremony water jar in the shape of a well curb

Water-jar (mizusashi) in form of a well-head, quadrilateral, cypress (sugi) wood cover with nashiji lacquer lining and metal ornaments of crab and bird.
Clay: hard, dense, cream-colored stoneware
Glaze: transparent, finely crackled
Decoration: in pink, light green and pale lavender enamels and gold, over glaze. Chrysanthemums, grasses and vines outside. Peony scroll band at top of inside. Underglaze impression of grasses outside.

Historical period(s)
Meiji era, 1880-1890
Medium
White stoneware with enamels over clear glaze; wood, metal, and lacquer lid
Style
Satsuma ware, Nishiki type
Dimensions
H x W x D: 17.9 x 17.3 x 17.4 cm (7 1/16 x 6 13/16 x 6 7/8 in)
Geography
Japan, Kagoshima prefecture
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1897.10a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Tea ceremony water jar (mizusashi)

Keywords
crab, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), peony, Satsuma ware, Nishiki type, stoneware, swallow, tea, water
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Water-jar (mizusashi) in form of a well-head, quadrilateral, cypress (sugi) wood cover with nashiji lacquer lining and metal ornaments of crab and bird.
Clay: hard, dense, cream-colored stoneware
Glaze: transparent, finely crackled
Decoration: in pink, light green and pale lavender enamels and gold, over glaze. Chrysanthemums, grasses and vines outside. Peony scroll band at top of inside. Underglaze impression of grasses outside.

Label

In the tea ceremony, the water jar holds cold water used to replenish the kettle as boiling water is ladled out to make bowls of tea. Tea practitioners paid special attention to certain famous wells as sources of delicious water-a key element in Japanese gardens. This jar's form represents the wooden curb surrounding such a well. Chrysanthemums rendered in pale colors and gold suggest a private garden setting enclosing the well and also indicate the season.

Published References
  • Edmond de Goncourt. Objets d'art japonais et chinois, peintures estampes composant la collection de Goncourt. Paris. no. 295.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 188.
  • Matsumura Makiko. Furea gyarari no Satsumayaki [Satsuma Ware in the Freer Gallery]. no. 19, April 9, 2005. pp. 3-8.
  • Louise Allison Cort. Beikoku no Nihon tojiki kenkyu konjaku [American research on Japanese Ceramics, Past and Present]. vol. 85 Sakura-shi, November 20, 1997. p. 29.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 116, fig. 77.
  • Impressions: The Journal of the Japanese Art Society of America. no. 39 Lexington, Massachusetts, 2018. p. 147, fig. 21.
  • Constance Bond. Daimyo's Choice at the Freer. Washington, April 1986. p. 162.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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