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Tea-ceremony water jar

Label Text

The simple bucket shape of this early seventeenth-century Japanese lidded jar disguises the intricate workmanship which produced it. In Japanese, the shape is known as hitoe-guchi, literally, "plain rim," and it began to be made in the sixteenth century, probably from a Chinese bronze prototype. The shape is so versatile that it became a classic pottery model that continued to be produced at Seto kilns throughout the Edo period. Although this pottery was thrown on a wheel, the throwing marks are unobtrusive, a mark of quality craftsmanship. The finishing technique involved hand-trimming or carving, after which several glazes were applied to produce a richly mottled surface, as was customary of Chinese ceramics. The thin lacquered wooden lid overhangs the rim slightly and accentuates the vessel's elegant shape. When Edward Sylvester Morse, the nineteenth-century Boston scholar and collector, first encountered this water jar in Freer's collection, he is said to have exclaimed, "My God, that's great. Wonderful things—ripping—a corker."

Object Name

Tea ceremony water jar (hitoeguchi mizusashi)

Ware

Seto ware

Dated

early 17th century

Period

Edo period

Medium

Stoneware with iron and ash glazes; lacquered wooden lid

Dimensions

HxWxD: 16.3 x 20.4 x 20.4 cm

City

Seto

Country

Japan

Credit Line

Gift of Charles Lang Freer

Iteration

2

Shelf Number

17

Wall

North

Title

Tea-ceremony water jar

Object Number

F1898.454a-b

Freer Source

Yamanaka and Co.

Freer Source City

New York

Freer Source State

New York

Freer Source Country

United States

Image

http://141.217.97.109/plugins/Dropbox/files/peacock-jpg/JPEG/F1898.454a-b.jpg

Collection

Citation

"Tea-ceremony water jar," in The Peacock Room, Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Accession No. F1898.454a-b, Item #3091, http://peacockroom.wayne.edu/items/show/3091 (accessed September 26, 2017).