Sake bottle in form of eggplant, with design of Mt. Fuji and seal “falcon”

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 19th century
Stoneware with lead enamel glazes
Kyoto ware
H x Diam: 15.1 × 7.9 cm (5 15/16 × 3 1/8 in)
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Sake bottle (tokkuri)

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Kyoto ware, sake, stoneware, wine

Mr. Funahashi, Kyoto [1]

To 1903
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1903 [2]

From 1903 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1903 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] Curatorial Remarks, Louise A. Cort, 1986: Freer acquired, through Matsuki, five pieces from the Funahashi collection (F1903.275--F1903.279). An undated "List of Shipment" from Matsuki (Matsuki letter no. 30) gives the following: "Following five important pottery are from the sale of Late Mr. Funahashi of Kioto famous wholesale silk dealer for many generation. The sale was under the management of Mr. Shinsuke Hayashi from whom your great Sotatsu screen came."

[2] See Original Pottery List, L. 1277, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] See note 2.

[4] 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) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Bunkio Matsuki (C.L. Freer source) 1867-1940


The formal metaphor for this sake bottle is "the first dream of the New Year," which, in order to be considered extremely lucky, must include three objects: first, Mt. Fuji; second, a falcon; third, an eggplant. In this mold-formed vessel - quite suitable for pouring a toast at the end of the old year - the bottle itself is shaped as an eggplant, Mt. Fuji appears as a decoration on the side of the bottle, and "Taka" is the character in the seal placed appropriately to the left of the mountain image.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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