Kyoto ware tea bowl for the New Year, with three impressed seals reading “Shuhei”

Artist: Ogata Shuhei (1788-1839)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, early 19th century
Stoneware with enamels over clear glaze
Kyoto ware
H x Diam: 7.9 × 10.9 cm (3 1/8 × 4 5/16 in)
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl

Edo period (1615 - 1868), enamel, Japan, Kyoto ware, new year, rat, stoneware, tea

To 1898
A.D. Vorce and Co., Hartford, CT, to 1898 [1]

From 1898 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from A.D. Vorce and Co. in 1898 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 323, 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)

A. D. Vorce and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Younger brother of Nin'ami Dohachi, Ogata Shuhei allegedly adopted the surname Ogata out of reverence for Ogata Kenzan, the foremost Kyoto potter of the early 18th century. The enamel designs of a rat embracing a flaming jewel and an ornamental seal reading "long life" and "treasure" show that the bowl was intended for use in New Year's festivities beginning a Year of the Rat (possibly 1816 or 1828). Season-specific tea bowls abound among Kyoto decorated ceramics.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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