Cylindrical tea bowl, unknown Raku ware workshop

Raku ware, unknown workshop, style of Hon’ami Koetsu
Cylindrical tea bowl
Brown lacquer repair
Clay: soft, grayish, Raku type
Glaze: mingled brick-red and greenish gray. Red Raku Glaze.

Artist: Attributed by accompanying document to Hon'ami Kōetsu 本阿弥光悦 (1558-1637)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1615-1868
Earthenware with red ochre slip under clear lead glaze; lacquer repair
Raku ware, unknown workshop
H x Diam: 9.4 × 10.2 cm (3 11/16 × 4 in)
Japan, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, lacquer repair, Raku ware, tea

To 1899
Yamanaka & Company, to 1899 [1]

From 1899 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1899 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] Undated folder sheet note. Also see Original Pottery List, L. 629, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[2] See note 1.

[3] 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
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1917-1965


Raku ware, unknown workshop, style of Hon'ami Koetsu
Cylindrical tea bowl
Brown lacquer repair
Clay: soft, grayish, Raku type
Glaze: mingled brick-red and greenish gray. Red Raku Glaze.


The paper label formerly attached to the box lid for this tall cylindrical bowl relates that it was one of a group of five similar bowls made by Koetsu.  It had belonged to the Owari branch of the Tokugawa family that ruled Japan throughout the Edo period, and it had been given to its owner by an unspecified head of the Omote Senke Tea School.  A deep crack in the rim that probably occurred during firing has been repaired with red-tinted lacquer. 

Published References
  • Stephen Weintraub, Kanya Tsujimoto, Sadae Y. Walters. Urushi and Conservation: The Use of Japanese Lacquer in the Restoration of Japanese Art. vol. 11 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 54-55, fig. 19.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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