Karatsu ware ewer or freshwater jar

Squat cylindrical pitcher with twisted rope handle and folded-over spout; lacquer cover. Karatsu ware. Style of Chosen garatsu.
Clay: grayish stoneware, medium coarse, fired reddish brown where unglazed.
Glaze: dark greenish brown flowing down over cream; iron-ash glaze and rice-straw ash glaze.
Decoration: glaze pattern only.

Historical period(s)
Momoyama period, 1596-1615
Medium
Stoneware with iron and rice-straw ash glazes; lacquered wooden lid
Style
Karatsu ware, Chosen Karatsu type
Dimensions
H x W x D: 17.2 x 24.6 x 14.2 cm (6 3/4 x 9 11/16 x 5 9/16 in)
Geography
Japan, Saga prefecture
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1898.457a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Ewer

Keywords
Japan, Karatsu ware, Momoyama period (1573 - 1615), stoneware
Provenance

To 1898
Yamanaka & Company, to 1898 [1]

From 1898 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1898 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 177, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[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
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1917 - 1965

Description

Squat cylindrical pitcher with twisted rope handle and folded-over spout; lacquer cover. Karatsu ware. Style of Chosen garatsu.
Clay: grayish stoneware, medium coarse, fired reddish brown where unglazed.
Glaze: dark greenish brown flowing down over cream; iron-ash glaze and rice-straw ash glaze.
Decoration: glaze pattern only.

Label

This vessel combines a body shaped by coiling, then finishing with paddle and anvil, with a hand-formed spout and handle. The technique was introduced to Japan by immigrant Korean potters and used for utilitarian vessel shapes. The two-color glaze combination, associated with a type of Karatsu ware known as "Korean Karatsu," is found on early Agano and Takatori wares as well.

Published References
  • Andrew Maske. Potters and Patrons in Edo Period Japan: Takatori Ware and the Kuroda Domain. Farnham, Surry, UK and Burlington, Vermont. fig. 4.6.
  • Anne Nishimura Morse, Samuel C. Morse. Bridge of Fire: Two Potters, East & West. Exh. cat. Springfield, Massachusetts, 1992-1994. .
  • , Kawahara Masahiko, Nakazato Tarouemon XII. Toji taikei [Complete Collection of Far Eastern Ceramics]. 48 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1978. vol. 13: pl. 90.
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 9: pl. 40.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 52.
  • Roger Soame Jenyns. Japanese Pottery. London. pl. 71B.
  • Mayuyama Junkichi. Japanese Art in the West. Tokyo. pl. 334.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 100, vol. 2: p. 180.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 83.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. The Ceramic Art of Japan: A Handbook for Collectors., 1st ed. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo. p. 130, pl. 62.
  • Impressions: The Journal of the Japanese Art Society of America. no. 39 Lexington, Massachusetts, 2018. p. 157, fig. 38.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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