Set of five Utsutsugawa ware boat-shaped dishes with design of waves and reeds

Five rectangular shape dishes with scalloped edges (cut away by hand from the wheel-thrown shape) that seem to refer to a particular type of lacquered box with such corners. The dappled pattern was created by applying liquid slip using a soft, flat brush. Graceful blue lines are painted with cobalt (possibly dissolved in white slip to give a milky quality).

Design of autumn grasses.

The set of dishes is contained in a recently-made wooden box, tied with a dark blue cord, that was made to hold them. The top of the lid bears an ink inscription: “Utsutsugawa…mukozuke.” A paper cover protecting the lid is made from the January page of a 1988 calendar. The plain back of the page, facing outward, bears an ink inscription in a different hand from that of the box lid: “Utsutsugawa / funagata mukozuke [boat-shaped individual serving dishes]…go kyaku [five guests].”

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1690-1750
Medium
Brown stoneware with white slip, iron and cobalt pigments under clear glaze
Style
Utsutsugawa ware
Dimensions
H x W x D (.1): 4.1 x 14.6 x 10.9 cm (1 5/8 x 5 3/4 x 4 5/16 in)
Geography
Japan, Nagasaki prefecture, Isahaya
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1999.15.1-5
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Individual serving dish (mukozuke)

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

Private Japanese collection [1]

To 1999
Sebastian Izzard, New York, to 1999

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

Notes:

[1] The set of objects comes in a modern Japanese box indicating that it was formerly in a private Japanese collection (according to Curatorial Note 6, Louise A. Cort, September 28, 1999, in the object record).

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Sebastian Izzard Asian Art LLC

Description

Five rectangular shape dishes with scalloped edges (cut away by hand from the wheel-thrown shape) that seem to refer to a particular type of lacquered box with such corners. The dappled pattern was created by applying liquid slip using a soft, flat brush. Graceful blue lines are painted with cobalt (possibly dissolved in white slip to give a milky quality).

Design of autumn grasses.

The set of dishes is contained in a recently-made wooden box, tied with a dark blue cord, that was made to hold them. The top of the lid bears an ink inscription: "Utsutsugawa...mukozuke." A paper cover protecting the lid is made from the January page of a 1988 calendar. The plain back of the page, facing outward, bears an ink inscription in a different hand from that of the box lid: "Utsutsugawa / funagata mukozuke [boat-shaped individual serving dishes]...go kyaku [five guests]."

Published References
  • Japanese Paintings and Works of Art, Korean Ceramics. New York, 1999. cat. 17.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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