Serving bowl with bail handle

Following the Kenzan model in the Tekisui Museum, Ashiya, the bowl is designed–shape, imagery, texture, and color–in the metaphor of bamboo in snow. The bowl is made from dark red, iron-rich clay and stands on three carefully carved feet. The thick edge of the bowl is carved into an irregular contour, and the bowl is spanned by a thick, flattened handle sculpted in the form of bamboo. Iron pigment was used to darken the handle and to paint bamboo leaves on the inside and outside of the bowl. Thick white slip was then spattered onto all surfaces to create the appearance of thick, soft snow. (The slip must have been very thick, by intention, to land as relief clumps.) The irregularly carved edge further suggests the contours of snow heaped on the foliage. A translucent white glaze into which the vessel was dipped covers the design and appears cool bluish-white over the dark clay body.

Impressed seal “Dohachi.”

The bowl is accompanied by its original wooden box, signed by Dohachi on the top of the lid with his own description of the piece as “handled serving bowl with painting of bamboo in snow.”

The bowl was wrapped in a padded yellow cotton wrapper and cotton batting in its original wooden box. The box is secured with a blue-and-white banded cotton cord with a central red stripe.

The top of the box lid bears an ink inscription by Dohachi: to the upper right, “Settchiku no e / tebachi [handled bowl / design of snow and bamboo]; to the lower left “Dohachi.” A handmade paper (washi) cover attached to the lid bears an ink inscription reading: “Settchiku no e no hachi.”

The lid is further protected by a loose paper cover with edges folding over the sides of the box. The top of this cover bears an ink inscription reading: “Sanjugo go [number 35]…(the next line, probably the former owner’s name, is crossed out)…Dohachi settchiku tebachi.” One side of the cover bears in ink inscription written from right to left: “Dohachi settchiku tebachi.”

A small paper label attached to one side of the box reads: “Ri ju-yon [ri 14, probably an inventory number].” A large paper label is inscribed: “Dohachi…jo tezuke hachi [superior bowl with attached handle].” The use of the term “superior” suggests some sort of inventory ranking pieces according to quality.

This older box is wrapped in a white cotton wrapper and contained within a new wooden box secured with a beige cotton cord. The lid of the outer box bears an ink inscription: “Yuki [?; two characters indicating a plant name] tebachi / Nin’ami Dohachi saku [made by Nin’ami Dohachi].”

Maker(s)
Artist: Nin'ami Dōhachi 仁阿弥道八 (1783-1855)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, early 19th century
Medium
Stoneware with iron pigment and white slip under colorless glaze
Dimensions
H x W x D: 14.2 x 24.8 x 22 cm (5 9/16 x 9 3/4 x 8 11/16 in)
Geography
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto, Gojozaka
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1999.14a-i
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Serving bowl (tebachi)

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, plant, stoneware, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Private Japanese collection [1]

To 1999
Sebastian Izzard, New York, acquired from a private Japanese collector, to 1999 [2]

From 1999
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Sebastian Izzard in 1999

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Note 10, Louise A. Cort, September 28, 1999, in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Sebastian Izzard Asian Art LLC

Description

Following the Kenzan model in the Tekisui Museum, Ashiya, the bowl is designed--shape, imagery, texture, and color--in the metaphor of bamboo in snow. The bowl is made from dark red, iron-rich clay and stands on three carefully carved feet. The thick edge of the bowl is carved into an irregular contour, and the bowl is spanned by a thick, flattened handle sculpted in the form of bamboo. Iron pigment was used to darken the handle and to paint bamboo leaves on the inside and outside of the bowl. Thick white slip was then spattered onto all surfaces to create the appearance of thick, soft snow. (The slip must have been very thick, by intention, to land as relief clumps.) The irregularly carved edge further suggests the contours of snow heaped on the foliage. A translucent white glaze into which the vessel was dipped covers the design and appears cool bluish-white over the dark clay body.

Impressed seal "Dohachi."

The bowl is accompanied by its original wooden box, signed by Dohachi on the top of the lid with his own description of the piece as "handled serving bowl with painting of bamboo in snow."

The bowl was wrapped in a padded yellow cotton wrapper and cotton batting in its original wooden box. The box is secured with a blue-and-white banded cotton cord with a central red stripe.

The top of the box lid bears an ink inscription by Dohachi: to the upper right, "Settchiku no e / tebachi [handled bowl / design of snow and bamboo]; to the lower left "Dohachi." A handmade paper (washi) cover attached to the lid bears an ink inscription reading: "Settchiku no e no hachi."

The lid is further protected by a loose paper cover with edges folding over the sides of the box. The top of this cover bears an ink inscription reading: "Sanjugo go [number 35]...(the next line, probably the former owner's name, is crossed out)...Dohachi settchiku tebachi." One side of the cover bears in ink inscription written from right to left: "Dohachi settchiku tebachi."

A small paper label attached to one side of the box reads: "Ri ju-yon [ri 14, probably an inventory number]." A large paper label is inscribed: "Dohachi...jo tezuke hachi [superior bowl with attached handle]." The use of the term "superior" suggests some sort of inventory ranking pieces according to quality.

This older box is wrapped in a white cotton wrapper and contained within a new wooden box secured with a beige cotton cord. The lid of the outer box bears an ink inscription: "Yuki [?; two characters indicating a plant name] tebachi / Nin'ami Dohachi saku [made by Nin'ami Dohachi]."

Inscription(s)

Wood storage box inscribed Settchiku no e tebachi (handled bowl decorated with bamboo in snow) and signed Dohachi.

Marking(s)

Dohachi (impressed seal)

Published References
  • Robert T. Singer. Edo: Art in Japan, 1616-1868. Exh. cat. Washington. .
  • Kobayashi Tadashi. Kacho. vol. 2, Kyoto. vol. 2.
  • Japanese Paintings and Works of Art, Korean Ceramics. New York, 1999. cat. 18.
  • Hayashiya Tatsusaburo. Tea Ceremony Implements: Collection of World's Ceramics. vol. 7, Tokyo. vol. 7.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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