Artist: Kinkozan Sobei VI (1824-1884)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, circa 1870-1880
Stoneware with iron and cobalt glazes
Kinkozan ware
H x Diam: 19 × 10.9 cm (7 1/2 × 4 5/16 in)
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto, Awata district
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


cobalt glaze, Japan, Kinkozan ware, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), stoneware

To 1901
Yamanaka & Company, to 1901 [1]

From 1901 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1901 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1041, 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


The Kinkozan workshop is credited with introducing the "Kyoto Satsuma" style of overglaze enamel decoration in 1870. This vase shows another aspect of the workshop's activity--formulating glazes using newly imported metallic oxides. The shape imitates a type of seventeenth-century unglazed Vietnamese bottle used in Japan as a vase; the rich brown glaze represents the brown clay of the unglazed prototype, while the overflow of bright cobalt-based glaze is a stylish innovation.

Published References
  • John Stevenson, John Guy, Louise Allison Cort. Vietnamese Ceramics: A Separate Tradition. Chicago. p. 69, fig. 4.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
The Story of the Beautiful
Google Cultural Institute
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