From 1950s – 1993
Private collection, purchased in Japan in the 1950s. 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of a private collector. 
 According to the donor, object was purchased in Japan in the 1950s.
 See Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.
- Previous Owner(s)
Mr. and Mrs. Province Henry
The dish was thrown on a potter's kickwheel and then shaped over a bisque-fired clay mold. The footrim was then trimmed. The molded ten-lobed rim is edged with iron brown and coated with green (celadon) glaze, while the interior is painted in cobalt pigment with a design of iris blooming by a stream, under a colorless transparent glaze.
Overglaze enamels are used to outline the iris and wave pattern with gold and to render an auspicious design around the celadon rim of the crane and hairy-tailed tortoise (paired symbols of longevity) and pine and bamboo.
Wooden boxes were used to store ceramics and other precious objects. Inscriptions outside the boxes identified the contents. Often, additional inscriptions inside the box lid or on the base recorded the history of ownership or other details. This box is labeled to contain "a set of ten sashimi dishes" that belonged to the Kashiwaya, probably a fine restaurant or inn, as of 1755, when the box was inscribed and dated. The prized delicacy, known as sashimi-precisely cut raw filets of seasonal fish, with a dipping sauce-flourished chiefly as a specialty of professional chefs. The blue design of irises on these dishes, showing faintly through the thin slices of translucent fish, would have created a cooling visual effect especially appreciated in early summer.
- Collection Area(s)
- Japanese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- SI Usage Statement
Usage conditions apply
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
Usage Conditions Apply
Chrome users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."
Internet Explorer users: right click on icon, select "save target as..."
Mozilla Firefox users: right click on icon, select "save link as..."