Jar, cut down in Japan for use as tea-ceremony water jar

Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, 1279-1368
Stoneware with iron decoration under clear glaze; gold lacquer repairs.
H x Diam: 20.4 × 18.3 cm (8 1/16 × 7 3/16 in)
China, Guangdong province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


ceremony, China, lacquer repair, peony, stoneware, tea, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

To 1901
Siegfried Bing (1838-1905), Paris to 1901 [1]

From 1901 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Siegfried Bing, Paris in 1901

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 942, 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)

Siegfried Bing (C.L. Freer source) 1838-1905
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


In its original form this jar was half again as tall and bore four lugs on its shoulders beneath a narrow mouth. Jars of this type are excavated in Japan. The reason for the careful removal of the (presumably) broken top of this jar and grinding down of the shoulder to make a smooth edge is explained by the similar treatment of a Cizhou ware bottle now in the Tokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya, repository for the collection of the Owari Tokugawa warrior house. That bottle, of similar shape, has been ground down at the same level around the shoulder, and Tokugawa storeroom records from the first half of the nineteenth century describe the piece as a mizusashi (freshwater jar for use in the tea ceremony). A narrow mizusashi is required for use in tea gatherings of the tenth month. Fitted with a lacquered wooden lid, a damaged Chinese bottle could be cleverly salvaged for that purpose.

Published References
  • Sekai toji zenshu [Catalogue of the World's Ceramics]. 19 vols., Tokyo, 1976-1982. cat. 93, vol. 19 (1980).
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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