Yamanaka & Company, New York, NY, to 1899 
From 1899 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1899 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 
 See Original Pottery List, L. 87, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
 See note 1.
 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
Jar. Gold lacquer repairs. Black lacquer cover.
Clay: hard, sonorous, beige. Stained where exposed at base.
Glaze: translucent fish-roe crackle.
Decoration: in green, blue and red enamels, and gold, over glaze. Gold lost in areas. Pair of phoenixes, five paulownia crests, kashiwa leaves and grasses, and vinescroll motif.
Seal and inscription.
The inscription on the base, written in ink, shows the jar's original use:
tsubu to [JPN] jar capacity (literally to, equal to 4.8 gallons)
tsuke me [JPN] quantity of me (=.1325 oz.)
ni hyaku nanaju ho [JPN] 275 [me] (=36.4 oz or 2.2 lbs.)
(The three-character inscription in the center of the base probably gives the owner's name)
The inscription indicates that the jar was found to hold 275 me of tea leaves. (Compare a similar inscription on a Chinese tea jar, F1899.47.) The tea involved could well have been sencha, the Ming Chinese style of processed tea that became popular in the 18th century in Japan
Seal: kiyo [JPN].
The seal on the base indicates that the jar was made at a Kiyomizu [Jap] workshop in eastern Kyoto. It is an early type of seal. The placement of the seal is unusual in being at approximately "3 o'clock" on the base rather than the usual "nine o'clock."
The term "Old Kiyomizu ware" is sometimes given only to pottery decorated in the distinctive color scheme of green, blue, and gold enamels, sometimes to all Kyoto pottery that predates the beginning of porcelain production in the late 18th century. The decoration on this jar also incorporates red enamel. The jar may once have had a double lid of the sort used to give a tight seal for tea-leaf storage. Later it was fitted with a lacquered wooden lid for use as a freshwater jar in the tea ceremony. An inscription on the base records the jar's price.
- Published References
- Oka Yoshiko. Kinsei Kyoyaki no kenkyu [Research on Kyoto ceramics of the early modern period]., 1st ed. Kyoto. p. 229, fig. 4.
- Oka Yoshiko. Kinsei Kyoyaki no kenkyu. Kyoto. p. 229, fig. 4.
- Collection Area(s)
- Japanese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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