Incense box in the shape of a turtle

Artist: Hon'ami Koho (1601-1682)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid 17th century
Shigaraki-style stoneware with thin clear glaze
H x W x D: 4.9 x 5.9 x 8.8 cm (1 15/16 x 2 5/16 x 3 7/16 in)
Japan, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Container

Incense box (kogo)

Edo period (1615 - 1868), incense, Japan, stoneware, turtle

To 1898
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1898 [1]

From 1898 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1898 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 299, 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) and Custodian(s)

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


A grandson of the versatile artist Hon'ami Koetsu, Kuchu maintained a residence near Koetsu at Takagamine. Like his grandfather, Kuchu occasionally made tea bowls in the Black Raku format. He is best known, however, for his ceramics made from clay mixed with coarse feldspar grains to approximate the appearance of Shigaraki ware, which had been popular for tea utensils since the sixteenth century. These pieces executed in the spirit of a historical ware constitute a respected type of copy.

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