Mino ware tea-ceremony water jar in shape of bamboo stem

Buff clay. Trimmed foot rim, slightly concave base. Body gooved to suggest nodes in bamboo stem; lugs (partially missing, repaired with gold lacquer) shaped as trimmed shoots; one “leaf” molded in relief; round bosses around base represent trimmed roots. Transparent yellow ash glaze, stained brown in crackles, with areas of copper-green; brown iron slip on base. Gold lacquer repairs on rim.

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1800-1830
Medium
Stoneware with ash glaze and copper-green pigment, iron slip on base; gold lacquer repairs
Style
Seto ware
Dimensions
H x W x D: 18.2 x 18.8 x 18.8 cm (7 3/16 x 7 3/8 x 7 3/8 in)
Geography
Japan, Aichi prefecture, Seto kilns
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1899.74a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Tea ceremony water jar (mizusashi)

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, lacquer repair, Mino-style ware, Seto ware, stoneware, tea, water
Provenance

To 1899
Yamanaka & Company, to 1899 [1]

From 1899 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1899 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 115, 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)

Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

Buff clay. Trimmed foot rim, slightly concave base. Body gooved to suggest nodes in bamboo stem; lugs (partially missing, repaired with gold lacquer) shaped as trimmed shoots; one "leaf" molded in relief; round bosses around base represent trimmed roots. Transparent yellow ash glaze, stained brown in crackles, with areas of copper-green; brown iron slip on base. Gold lacquer repairs on rim.

Label

Subtle splashes of copper under the lustrous ash glaze reveal the connection to earlier Yellow Seto ware, although the glaze has changed. The base of a large bamboo trunk provides the formal metaphor, with shoot-shaped handles and iron wash accentuating the base where clay buttons suggest root-ends.

Published References
  • Louise Allison Cort. Seto and Mino Ceramics. Washington and Honolulu, 1992. p. 33, no. 46.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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