Artist: Koren (active ca. 1878-1885)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, ca. 1878-1886
Unglazed earthenware
H x Diam (assembled): 8.4 x 14.5 cm (3 5/16 x 5 11/16 in)
Japan, Tokyo
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Container


Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912)

To 1896
Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896), Paris, to 1896 [1]

To 1899
Carl Edelheim (1844-1899), Philadelphia, to 1899 [2]

From 1900 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased at the sale of the Carl Edelheim Collection, American Art Association, New York, NY, in March 1900, no. 85 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] The sale of the de Goncourt Collection of Asian objects occurred March 8–13, 1897. According to Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record, this particular object was no. 290 within the de Goncourt Collection sale, and was sold on March 9, 1897.

[2] See Original Pottery List, L. 258, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] See note 2.

[4] 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)

Edmond de Goncourt 1822-1896
Carl Edelheim 1844-1899
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
American Art Association (C.L. Freer source) established 1883


Using the studio name Koren, the woman artist Hattori Tsuna made hand-modeled boxes like this one as well as figurines, paperweights, and incense containers. Her work enjoyed great popularity among European collectors; this box once belonged to the French novelist Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896). Her use of unglazed red clay may have been inspired by Chinese Yixing ware, but the design of a grapevine in high relief, with a section of the vine forming the handle, is derived from European silver traditions.

Published References
  • , Shigaken Togei no Mori, Louise Allison Cort. Soaring Voices: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists. Exh. cat. Shigaraki, Japan, June 24 - September 2007. p. 69, figs. 3, 4.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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